Kristi's Kids: DCS backlog continues to decrease - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

Kristi's Kids: DCS backlog continues to decrease

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We have new numbers from the Arizona Department of Child Safety indicating some real progress. Kristi's kids has been a very active player in getting child welfare reform for local kids. Now, it seems, things might actually be improving.

The latest Department of Child Safety figures show the lowest number of open, inactive cases since January, 2010. The figure is now fewer than 5,500. That is a dramatic decrease from the peak more than 16,000 in February, 2015.

State Senator Steve Farley, an outspoken critic of D.C.S., tells Kristi’s Kids, these numbers are looking pretty good.

“I think they may be genuine. We're actually getting through the backlog, and we are at least stabilizing the amount of kids who are taken out of their homes,” Farley said.

Senator Farley had recently called for the D.C.S. director, Greg McKay's resignation. But, now?

“I think he's beginning to learn how to do what he needs to do,” Farley told Kristi’s Kids.

The new numbers also reveal that more children are leaving State care, than entering every month. Additionally, the volume of kids in out-of-home care has decreased four-months straight. While all this is promising, Senator Farley says, we still need to do a better job of avoiding child abuse and neglect.

“We can't take our eye off the goal of needing to have more investments in prevention, so that kids don't get in trouble in the first place,” Farley told Kristi’s Kids.

Senator Farley says he wants to bring back child-care subsidies that were cut from the state budget. He also wants more boots on the ground, in the form of D.C.S. investigators, who have the support they need.

“I think there are some problems where people don't feel respected in the field, and they don't feel respected back in the home office. That could be improved, it doesn't cost any money, Farley said.

D.C.S. officials tell Kristi's Kids, they think this positive trend will continue. Of course, we will keep you posted.

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