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Arizona DCS Working To Minimize Unnecessary Child Removals

DCS Director Greg McKay and Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery address the press Tuesday.
(Photo by Casey Kuhn - KJZZ)
DCS Director Greg McKay and Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery address the press Tuesday.

Arizona’s Department of Child Services (DCS) still contends with tens of thousands of calls and investigations monthly.

DCS Director Greg McKay said the agency is working on a tool to spot red flags and identifiers to determine when an investigation is not needed. This comes after a record number of children have gone into the foster care system.

McKay said the agency has beefed up its response to the child services hotline, but wants to try and keep removals to a minimum.

“We want to make sure we put as many things in place, with the in-home services and the decisions to strengthen families and, if possible, keep kids in-home and not remove them unnecessarily,” McKay said.

There are 15,700 kids in Arizona foster care currently.

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.