Early in Tanya Stauffer's career as a caseworker for the York County Office of Children, Youth and Families, there were days she felt like giving up.

"I'm very candid about that with my staff," the now-director said. "I help them understand there are going to be days where you want to throw your hands up and walk out the door. It can be very emotionally and physically taxing."

Just a few years ago York County's CYF — a human services organization that investigates allegations of child abuse and neglect — narrowly averted a state takeover after receiving four consecutive provisional licenses. Its full license was returned in 2016 when the state accepted the agency's corrective action plan.

Officials blame a large spike in child-abuse calls in recent years and the overwhelming nature of the work as reasons for past struggles.

Though lightening the workload for each employee would help with stress, Stauffer said the office needs to be fully staffed in order for it to work. 

And though the office is budgeted for 200 employees, more case workers are needed to help bring balance. There are 20 open positions available right now. 

"We're trying different, creative ways to get the message out to the community that we are in need of caseworkers," she said. "Helping them to understand the important work caseworkers do and how they impact the community every day."

An informational event where people can learn more about becoming a caseworker for CYF will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 5, on the first floor of the county office building, located at 100 W. Market St. 

Further, office staff have recently visited several local colleges to recruit and inform entry-level candidates about the benefits of being a caseworker. 

While recruitment and retention are main goals, Stauffer, who became director Nov. 1, aims to boost the YCF office with positive testimonials of the work they do that typically would go unnoticed. 

"Working with the courts, I can say we have been able to give families second chances," she said.

Stauffer said she encourages everyone to apply for open positions, which can be found on CYF's website.

"Every single day we have a family being successfully closed out with our agency because they are able to care for their children and provide for their family," Stauffer said. 

— Reach Tina Locurto at or on Twitter at @tina_locurto.

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