The head of the state Department of Children and Families says the agency's social workers continue to struggle with high caseloads despite the hiring of more than 230 new employees.

Erin Deveney, who took over the embattled agency in April, told lawmakers Tuesday that factoring in turnover, the department had 143 more social workers at the end of June than it did at the beginning of the year.

The Boston Globe reports that despite the new hires, the agency has not reached its goal of 15 cases per worker, in part because the department has taken on more cases.

The agency serves about 40,000 children.

The department has come under intense scrutiny since the disappearance and death of 5-year-old Jeremiah Oliver of Fitchburg, whose family was being monitored by the agency.