KJZZ is a service of Rio Salado College,
and Maricopa Community Colleges

Copyright © 2024 KJZZ/Rio Salado College/MCCCD
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

New Child Safety Agency To Hire 330 Employees This Year

July 1 marks the beginning of the 2015 fiscal year, which means big changes to the new Arizona Department of Child Safety. These changes are a result of thousands of uninvestigated child abuse cases.

After 6,500 uninvestigated cases were discovered at Child Protective Services last year, Governor Jan Brewer asked the legislature to fund a new agency that would deal with abuse investigations and child protection. The Department of Child Safety was established in May of this year as a result.

The agency’s Jennifer Bowser said it’s looking to hire about 330 new staff members for this fiscal year.

"Hiring is our largest focus right now," said Bowser. "Retention of staff is a huge focus, just staff in general. You’ve got to have the folks who can do the work certainly, so hiring is a huge effort for us right now."

Brewer’s budget called for $15 million to hire more caseworkers, nearly $2 million to expand the Office of Child Welfare Investigations and $4.5 million to handle an increase in adoption cases.

Alejandra Guillen is a KJZZ News Intern who will be a senior at the Arizona State University Walter Cronkite School of Journalism in the fall. She is majoring in journalism with an English literature minor.