SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Lackawanna County Commissioners voted unanimously on Wednesday to approve $20,000 in incentives for the Office of Youth and Family Services (OYFS) staff.

Over the past few months, the OYFS has lost at least 10 employees. County officials put some of the blame for the lack of recruitment on the investigation and arrest of the five caseworkers back in June.

In order to increase recruitment and retention, the OYFS are now going to offer bonuses to their employees to encourage them to stay.

How it will work is employees must sign an agreement not to terminate their employment before the end of the year to receive payments. If they do resign, they have to reimburse the money to the county.

The OYFS needs to reach 75% of staffing levels, and currently, they are around 56%.

These bonuses are 80% state-funded and the county would be responsible other 20%. Most of the 20% is already covered by OYFS due to the vacancies in employment there.

“Do I think extra incentives is a motivation to get more people on board with this type of program? Absolutely, that’s what people want,” said Scranton resident Thomas Gallanger.

“If there’s something down the line, future things down the line that they can offer these people, then absolutely, but money motivates all,” said Susan Hart of Scranton.

Admins and non-union employees are eligible for 10,000 immediately and then another $10,000 on November 24 For unionized employees.

After staying three months they will get a $5,000 bonus, then another $5,000 after six months, and then $10,000 after a year of staying on the job.

It is also noted that four out of the five caseworkers who are being investigated are eligible for the bonuses but only if they return to their jobs.

Four of them are currently on paid administrative leave and the fifth one is not eligible because they are retired now.