AUSTIN, Texas — Officials with Texas’ beleaguered child welfare system say the agency has temporarily paused hiring as it’s been able to decrease staff turnover in recent months.

The Austin American-Statesman reports ( ) the hiring freeze is temporary and the agency expects to resume hiring caseworkers next week.

Hank Whitman, commissioner of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, told employees in an email the agency has “made huge strides in hiring new staff and retaining CPS caseworkers.”

The Legislature approved nearly $150 million in emergency funding for about 830 employees. An additional $500 million was also approved over the next two years to hire new caseworkers.

The funding comes as the child welfare system has been plagued by high staff turnover rates, delays in visiting potentially abused children and child deaths.

Information from: Austin American-Statesman,

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