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Some pushing for degree reinstatement for Texas CPS caseworkers

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DALLAS (AP) - Democratic Texas lawmakers have filed bills seeking to restore a requirement that Child Protective Services caseworkers have at least a four-year college degree, including one bill adding a new stipulation that the degree be in a relevant field.

Faced with a shortage of caseworkers and a beleaguered child welfare system, the state's Department of Family and Protective Services removed the bachelor's degree requirement last May, making Texas one of few states without such a requirement. Instead, caseworkers need only have 60 college credit hours and two years of relevant work experience or 90 credit hours and one year of experience.

But with the recent granting of emergency funding to hire new caseworkers and give pay increases to thousands of existing ones, child advocates say the educational standards should be strengthened.

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