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Funds Approved for Arizona Child Welfare

January 31
18:09 2014

child_smallOn Thursday, January 30, 2014 the Arizona Legislature approved extra funds for the state’s child welfare agency to hire 192 new workers right away. Governor Jan Brewer is revamping the department after thousands of CPS cases went uninvestigated. The bill is for a total of $6.8 million. The Senate approved the extra funding bill on a 29-0 vote, and the House also approved the spending without a no vote.

After the vote, some lawmakers said still more needs to be done in the way of restoring funding to prevention programs that have been cut in recent years.

“Funding these additional caseworkers is a crucial step in the effort to reform our troubled CPS system, but it is only a step. We still have much work to repair the systemic failures that allowed thousands of vulnerable children to fall through the cracks.”

“We must also focus on preventative services that help keep children safe and healthy in their homes. Waiting to respond until a crisis occurs, whether for a family or for a state agency, is too late. The best way to protect Arizona’s children is to keep them from harm’s way in the first place.”

– Arizona State Senator Anna Tovar

In mid-January, Brewer designated Child Protective Services become it’s own entity reporting directly to her. In 2013, it was discovered that more than 6,500 child-abuse and neglect reports had intentionally not been investigated in recent years. Brewer appointed the head of the state’s Juvenile Corrections department, Charles Flanagan, to lead the newly-formed agency.

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