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NEW CASE WORKERS LIKELY AMID RISE IN CHILD ABUSE

The Niagara County Social Services Department will get four new caseworkers to try to deal with a spike in the number of child abuse reports.

The four new positions, each with salaries of $31,904 a year, were approved by two County Legislature committees this week.

The full Legislature is expected to follow through Dec. 7.

Two of the new employees will work in Lockport and two in Niagara Falls, Sharon Sloma, deputy social services commissioner, said.

Their salaries will be 80 percent reimbursed by the federal and state governments.

For the first 10 months of the year, the number of abuse reports in the county was up 152 from the same period in 2003. The department is required to respond to child abuse tips within 24 hours.

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