BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — The Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) had a hiring fair in Baton Rouge today. This came as the agency is collaborating with the state legislature on improving operations.

“There are some promising applicants and candidates today, so it’s an exciting day,” expressed DCFS Acting Secretary Terri Ricks.

DCFS has been looking for ways to get more employees on the job.

“The more people we have on board helping people, we’ll have better outcomes,” she stated.

They hosted a hiring fair in Downtown Baton Rouge. There are 50 vacancies in the area they need to fill.

“Everything that we’re doing is about taking care of children and their families, so the more people we have helping people, the better we’ll be able to do that,” Ricks explained.

She said there was a record amount of pre-registrations for the event, which was over 250.

“The word has gotten out that we really have been hiring at these hiring fairs and that the need is great,” she said.

“We have promoted this event on social media, on our website,” added DCFS Statewide Program Manager Toby Comeaux.

They also worked with emergency response teams to fine-tune their process.

“If they got an offer, we can document and verify that they are being scheduled for a second interview if they’re in that category that happens here,” said Comeaux.

“Some people will be actually being hired on Zoom from people out of state,” Ricks explained. “If they are applying for child welfare, they would actually be able to get their fingerprints done here today. They would be able to get their background checks started.”

They removed barriers, starting the onboarding process on site.

“It might have taken almost three months for someone to apply, go through the interview process, and be hired,” Ricks said. “We really are kind of getting that down to about four weeks now.”

Those who are hired will start in 2023.

Their next fair will be in Bossier City on January 18, 2023.