As the state's new child welfare advocate office approaches its first anniversary, it's now fully staffed and has opened 69 investigations even as its future continues to be debated.
Kerrie Lonard, the state's new child welfare advocate, appeared before the joint Child Welfare Oversight Committee on Tuesday to lay out the evolution of the new office that the governor created by executive order.
Appointed by the governor, Lonard said the welfare advocacy office has been fully staffed since February with four other people, including three case investigative analysts and an office administrator.
The office has struggled in . . .