Oct 8, 2012 11:18 AM
PHOENIX (AP) - The child-welfare agency for Arizona wants to hire 200 more employees to improve a system that's overwhelmed by record numbers of abuse reports, foster children and backlogged cases.
The Arizona Republic reports (http://bit.ly/TleE3s) that a $49 million budget request by the Department of Economic Security marks the first public acknowledgment that the state's Child Protective Services is unable to keep pace with its growing caseload.
Caseworker turnover has reached record levels, topping 30 percent in the most recent report.
The number of children in foster care continues to climb, as does the number of babies and small children in shelters and group homes.
At the same time, thousands of cases are not being investigated and families are waiting for visitation, counseling and other services that could help them reunite.