Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich said the Protective Service Section of the Child and Family Protective Division is experiencing more than 20% turnover and attorneys are taking on more than double the recommended workload, in an article in The Arizona Republic.
The Department of Child Safety saw budget cuts earlier this year and is now facing a "crisis level" of nearly 18,000 children in the foster care system.
Gov. Ducey and Republican leadership in the legislature diverted funding to DCS from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, then cut $9 million from the TANF program. An independent audit of DCS urged the state to increase funding for preventative services.
Arizona Democratic leaders have called for increased funding for family preventative services that would prevent child abuse and neglect cases from developing. "This is a very small investment, but it is critical to people who need it the most," said Arizona Democratic Rep. Andrew Sherwood in The Arizona Republic. "You're talking about desperate families, those who are unemployed and underemployed."
#AskDuceyWhy he and Republican legislators are not prioritizing child abuse and neglect prevention.