(Bismarck, ND) -- The Director of North Dakota's Department of Human Services joined The Flag's What's On Your Mind program to explain why the department's current response times differ from their policy stated response time of 24 hours.
Chris Jones, the Director of ND DHS, says he agrees with the assessment made by the Office of the State Auditor. Jones says "a perfect storm" caused by the Covid-19 pandemic caused many of the cases to go unreported.
"People were holed-up in their homes, "said Jones,"If you think about child abuse and neglect, a lot of the reports happen in the community. So there is pent up demand that way."
Jones also cited the high-stress environment child-welfare workers engage in, saying the employees are "working their tails off" and that the DHS has a workforce shortage. The Director hopes to gain more funding through the next legislative session in order to tackle the issue.
You can learn more about the auditor's office's criticisms of The Department of Human Services by clicking here.