Arizona DCS Is 3 Months Late Releasing Quarterly Report

By Alexandra Olgin
Published: Tuesday, December 1, 2015 - 6:23pm
Updated: Tuesday, December 1, 2015 - 11:02pm

The Department of Child Safety is more than three months late in releasing its latest report. State law requires the agency to release data quarterly.

As part of increased funding in 2014 for DCS to hire more caseworkers and reduce the backlog, the agency is mandated to provide quarterly reports to the Joint Legislative Budget Committee.

These reports contain data on current child abuse and neglect investigations, staff retention and other measures of performance. Arizona representative Debbie McCune Davis sits on the Child Safety Oversight Committee.

She said the only way to know if the agency is getting a handle on the growing number of cases is through the figures.

“We want to see numbers that show that resources given to the agency are resulting in better outcomes for kids,” she said. “The reports are the mechanisms by which we see that.”

McCune Davis said the agency is routinely late at releasing data. These benchmark reports also detail how the agency spends money from its $800 million budget. The agency set the goal of reducing backlogged cases by 1,000 by July 2015. Instead, the number of cases in the backlog grew by nearly 2,000.  

DCS spokesman Doug Nick said the agency is close to getting it done.

“It’s a fairly large report, and we want to make sure that it’s accurate and complete,” Nick said.

The department’s next quarterly report is due at the end of December.

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