JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) – The director of a regional service provider says social workers’ caseloads for child neglect and abuse have dramatically increased in Southeast Alaska.

KTOO Public Media of Juneau reports that Erin Walker-Tolles, executive director of Catholic Community Service, testified before the House Finance Committee earlier this month.

She asked for more funding to deal with a 59 percent increase in referrals to her nonprofit’s child advocacy center, which deals with cases of children who might be victims of abuse and neglect across the Southeast. The number of children referred to the center went up from 97 in 2016 to 154 last year.

Program Manager Susan Loseby says she hopes more children aren’t being abused. She says she thinks more people are reporting abuse.

Loseby says that either way, the center needs more workers.

Information from: KTOO-FM, http://www.ktoo.org

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