Average wait times to call the state’s abuse hotline reached up to 20 minutes on some days during the past two months, according to data from the Department of Children and Families.
The daily averages mean some callers may have experienced longer or shorter wait times on those days.
News Channel 8 received reports of some callers waiting from 30 minutes to an hour to talk to an operator at the hotline, which takes reports of suspected abuse from across the state.
DCF said it is working to reduce the amount of time callers wait on hold.
A spokeswoman for the agency said those who answer the calls are now spending more time interviewing callers and working on the case after a call has ended, completing a “more extensive assessment on each report.”
She also said the hotline is receiving more calls – with an “unprecedented” number received in March. However, data from March and April shows higher call volume doesn’t always equate to higher wait times. For example, the average wait time on March 19 was 20 minutes and 36 seconds with a total of 1,936 calls. But the average hold time was about half that on April 27, when callers waited an average of 10 minutes and 32 seconds on a day when the hotline received 2,080 calls.
The hotline has 17 current vacancies, with 184 current full-time staffers and 5 part-time staffers, according to DCF.
Wait times appear to have gone up during the past year and a half (with a dip in times last summer), from less than four minutes in late 2013 to more than 11 minutes in March 2015, according to DCF data.
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