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Jan Brewer Calls Special Session to Deal With New Department of Child Safety

Governor Jan Brewer has called a special session of the legislature to deal with the creation of the Department of Child Safety, which is replacing Child Protective Services.

Brewer made the announcement today, and also released the details of her bill to reform CPS.

See also:
-Legislators Pass Budget With CPS Funding Well Below Jan Brewer's Proposal

Brewer's office released a presentation of changes that have already been made to the new DCS, including changes to the process that allowed more than 6,500 allegations of child abuse and neglect to go uninvestigated.

Brewer's proposed cost to establish the new agency: $60 million.

About $20 million of that is to deal with various backlogs. According to Brewer's presentation, those backlogs at the former CPS are still growing, even as more workers have been hired, and more workers are still to be hired.

That includes about $4.4 million for overtime, plus $6.2 million more for the hiring of more caseworkers. To address the high turnover rate, $1.7 is proposed for retention bonuses -- a $1,000 check for making it 18 months on the job, and $3,000 for 36 months.

Meanwhile, $5.3 million is proposed for staffing of the Office of Child Welfare Investigations, which investigates criminal conduct. It was revealed earlier this year that OCWI only has enough staffing to investigate about 17 percent of cases.

Other funding proposals create checks on the department, including an ombudsman, an inspections bureau, and a review from an outside expert, totaling about $3.2 million combined.

The document below provided by the governor's office provides a point-by-point list of changes proposed in the bill:

Arizona child safety reform legislation

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The legislative special session is to start on Tuesday.

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