DCS Trims Outsourcing Costs, Resulting in 45 Layoffs

The Tennessee Department of Children’s Services is eliminating its contract with an outside agency that trains social workers. DCS is one of several state departments finding savings by doing more of its work in-house.

The Tennessee Center for Child Welfare – which is affiliated with MTSU – plans to lay off 45 employees. It had a $14 million annual contract to provide training for DCS case workers.

Spokesperson Molly Sudderth says DCS can save several million dollars if it does its own training. That does require adding roughly 30 permanent positions. She expects many will be filled by longtime social-workers looking to advance their careers with the state.

“This gives them an opportunity to put their unique skill set, which is experience with those families, to good use training new young employees who might be coming up.”

Other state departments are also moving functions in-house to save money. TDOT Commissioner John Schroer says some of the design work for roads and bridges is returning to state employees, who can sometimes do it for half the cost. He says spending on consultants had tripled in a matter of five or six years.

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