Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has moved to replace the scandal-plagued Child Protective Services agency with a new Division of Child Safety and Family Services answerable to her office.
The New York Times reported Monday that the agency, which had been part of the mammoth welfare-oriented Department of Economic Security, ignored 6,500 reports of possible child abuse
telephoned in to its hotline.
In making the announcement, the Republican governor said, "It is evident that our child welfare system is broken, impeded by years of structural and operational failures."
She removed the current director, Clarence Carter, who had been with the agency for years. Last September, Carter said he needed hundreds of new workers
and an additional $115 million to keep up with the demands made on his agency.
Cuts made nearly two years ago to close the state's budget deficit had also put a strain on Arizona's family welfare programs
and reports of child abuse have increased as the state's economy worsened in 2009, according to the Arizona Republic.
Brewer said the new Division of Child Safety and Family Services, which is expected to be swiftly authorized by the state legislature, would have cabinet-level status.
It will be headed by Charles Flanagan, the current director of the state's Juvenile Corrections department. He had been supervising an investigation into the disregarded hotline complaints.
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