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DCS Emergency Shelter Still Closed After Bed Bugs Found Earlier This Week

The Arizona Department of Child Safety emergency shelter is still closed after a bed bug infestation earlier in the week.

DCS has temporarily closed its after-hours emergency shelter for abused or neglected children only a few months after first opening its doors.

DCS spokesman Doug Nick said the staff is prepared for situations like the current bed bug infestation.

"We obviously are prepared for this kind of contingency," Nick said. "It’s not something we like to look forward to, but obviously something we need to be prepared for, we are prepared for, and are dealing with it.”

Nick said during the closure, children will be placed in foster care or DCS offices.

Tamera Shanker with Arizona Friend’s of Foster Children Foundation said this latest incident is one of many that show poor management from the DCS.

“This recent debacle is just another indicator of our system not being prepared to screen kids before putting them in an aggregate setting with other children,” Shanker said. "With only volunteers and overworked and tired DCS workers to man the shelter, it's not surprising that the children aren't getting physically examined for parasites like this."

Nick said the shelter is expected to re-open by the middle of next week.

Casey Kuhn reports from KJZZ’s West Valley Bureau. She comes to Phoenix from the Midwest, where she graduated from Indiana University with a degree in journalism.Kuhn got her start in radio reporting in college at the community public radio station, WFHB. She volunteered there as a reporter and worked her way up to host the half-hour, daily news show. After graduating, she became a multimedia reporter at Bloomington's NPR/PBS station WFIU/WTIU, where she reported for and produced a weekly statewide news television show.Since moving to the Southwest, she’s discovered a passion for reporting on rural issues, agriculture and the diverse people who make up her community.Kuhn was born and raised in Cincinnati, where her parents instilled in her a love of baseball, dogs and good German beer. You’ll most likely find her around the Valley with a glass of prosecco in one hand and a graphic novel in the other.She finds the most compelling stories come from KJZZ’s listeners.