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Schuylkill adds caseworkers

Schuylkill County's Children and Youth Services Agency now has an additional six caseworkers to help handle an increase in the numbers of families needing assistance.

Commissioners on Thursday hired Amanda Kowalski, Tamaqua; Riana Dankulich, Brockton; Laura Phillips, Schuylkill Haven; Gail Horan, Girardville; and Noreen Hobbs, Pottsville, as caseworkers 1, each at $17.03 an hour.Josephine Lopez-Roma, Tower City, was hired as a caseworker 2 at $18.59 an hour.Melissa Brown, Wayne Township, was hired as a clerk typist for the agency at $12.91 an hour.Commissioners last month allocated an additional $500,000 from the county's contingency fund for the agency to cope with the rising numbers of children needing foster homes.The agency as of June 30 had placed 324 children in foster care, up 88 over last year.Earlier this year, the county moved the agency from its cramped quarters to a spacious renovated former beauty school up the block to 324 N. Centre St.County officials have said the drug epidemic has increased the need for an array of services, from courts to Children and Youth.In other matters, commissioners approved a $964,357 Homeland Security grant.The money will support the East Central Task Force's planning, training, exercises, equipment, and maintenance and administration from Sept. 1 through Aug. 31, 2019.