BOSTON >> The state's child welfare agency says 10 employees have been fired after failing to comply with a new state law that they obtain social work licenses.

The Boston Globe repo<URL destination="">rts that the workers will be allowed to apply for lower-level positions in the Department of Children and Families that do not require licenses.

The </URL>Legislature included the licensing requirements in 2014 after several tragic cases involving children who were under DCF supervision.

Unlicensed employees hired before 2014 had until this past July to pass a social work exam, but some were granted an extension until September.

The law also allows the agency to grant six-month waivers to employees who had trouble passing the test due to language barriers.

Officials say 87 percent of the department's nearly 2,500 workers are currently licensed.