Brewer OKs millions in extra child welfare cash - | WBTV Charlotte

Brewer OKs millions in extra child welfare cash


Almost all the victims in the previously uninvestigated cases of child abuse and neglect have been seen by investigators, and at the same time, Gov. Jan Brewer signed legislation that will allow the hiring of nearly 200 more child welfare workers.

The number of cases grew to 6,600 after the governor-appointed CARE Team said it found 46 more cases that had been previously dispositioned as not investigated but later changed.

The CARE Team, named by Brewer in early December, said almost 4,900 cases have had a response.

Three of the cases have been referred to tribal authorities and are out of the state's jurisdiction.

Brewer on Thursday signed a bill approved by the Senate and House of Representatives last week that provides an additional $6.8 million in funding for the state's child welfare agency and will allow for the immediate hiring of 192 new workers.

Child Protective Services was pulled from the state Department of Economic Security in January and established as its own agency in light of the original 6,552 abuse and neglect reports that had not been investigated.

Of the 46 "broken disposition" cases identified by Office of Child Welfare Investigations Deputy Chief Shalom Jacobs, 41 had already been assigned and referred for field investigations, and the CARE team was reviewing the cases to confirm they are properly investigated, completed and that the children are safe.

The remaining five case were not referred for field investigations and were changed to "hotline communications," which indicates that a hotline supervisor or the hotline quality assurance unit determined that the original "not investigated" report did not actually meet report criteria as per hotline policy and procedure, or the report was a second source to an already existing report, the team said.

Team members will look at those five cases to determine whether they were correctly reclassified, and that any question about the children's safety will be investigated.

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