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Arizona’s Department of Child Safety decreasing backlog of open, inactive cases

(AP Photo/Karen Pulfer Focht)

PHOENIX — As part of a system-wide improvement effort, Arizona’s Department of Child Safety (DCS) has closed thousands of inactive cases.

An inactive case means no documentation or no services have been provided for over 60 days.

In early 2015, DCS had over 16,200 inactive cases still open. Now that number is below 6,500, which is a 61 percent drop in open, inactive cases.

“It frees up our caseworkers to get out into the field and [they] have more time to spend with families,” said Vickie Isaac, director of communications for DCS. “As a result of those caseworkers having more time in the field, we’re seeing children who are finding forever homes or family reunification. Those processes become more effective.”

About 1,500 children who have left DCS care have been adopted between January and June 2016.

Isaac said they have also increased training for caseworkers. She added those caseworkers are being kept on task and accountable through visual scorecards.

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