The governor’s office in November authorized the transfer of about 200 Medicaid eligibility employees from the Department of Community Health to DHS to help vacant positions.
Rawlings said the child welfare positions that wouldn’t be filled are for supervisory roles.
“It’s the front-line workers who interact every day with the families of Georgia and protect children and we have to keep those guys so that they’re working hard and they don't have a caseload that’s too high,” Rawlings said.
Holding open the positions would account for about $8.1 million of the proposed $29 million in cuts to the human services budget in fiscal 2021. The governor’s spending plan orders state agencies to cut their budgets 4% this year and 6% next year.
State Rep. Al Williams, a Midway Democrat, said he was concerned by the number of vacant positions at the agency.
“Is it that you can't find anybody to work?” he asked.
Georgia Department of Human Services Commissioner Robyn Crittenden said the improving economy has made it hard to fill positions at the agency.
“Right now in our state we have a very low unemployment rate and people are able to find other opportunities where they live rather than work with us,” she said.