Fresno County's Child Welfare Services gets new building

The new space now includes a shower, washing machine and video game area.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The former Costco in Clovis has undergone a complete makeover.

It is now the home of Fresno County's Child Welfare Services and its 586 employees.

New Department of Social Services Director Sanja Bugay went before the Board of Supervisors to urge them to add two deputy counsel positions and two legal assistants to the department.

"It will impact and improve our reunification rates. So that's direct impact to our kids and families that will get through our court system faster," he said.

The board approved the staff additions for a department that took some heat a year ago.

Social workers criticized the conditions kids in the county's care dealt with while they waited for a foster family.

A temporary shelter was set up inside the former University Medical Center.

But kids who need help will now be taken to the Clovis center. The new space now includes a shower, washing machine and video game area.

Sanja Bugay wants to limit their stay to 24 hours. She was named to take over DSS just two months ago.

"This is the 4th item in my short term here that your board is considering to improve our child welfare system and that's really significant."

The new building helps consolidate services within Fresno County's largest department.

Child Services handles everything from emergency response to hotline calls.

Fresno County will hold a ribbon-cutting for its new Child Welfare Services Center in Clovis on Thursday morning.

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