PHOENIX – A budget making its way through the state legislature has some child advocacy groups concerned.
The state Senate passed a budget proposal last week that continues the $80 million in funding cuts to child care services that were set in place in 2009.
Dana Wolfe Naimark, president and CEO of Children’s Action Alliance, said since November — when the Arizona’s Child Protective Services announced that 6,500 reports of child abuse had been overlooked — there has been a lot of talk about the state’s dysfunctional child care system but more needs to be done.
“We’ve heard a lot of talk since then about child safety, we’ve heard a lot of announcements about what will be fixed and what will be changed,” Naimark said. “Now is the time for action.”
Naimark said child care in Arizona is in a crisis and that there is a current backlog of more than 11,000 cases that have not been handled in two months or more.
“Our foster care population has grown 49 percent in the last five years,” she added. “We have more than 15,500 children living in foster care. They would fill every single seat in Arizona’s Veteran Memorial Coliseum with more standing and sitting in the aisles… (that’s) unacceptable.”
She also said the time it takes for CPS to complete an investigation has quadrupled in the last five years.
Naimark and representatives from Southwest Human Development, a nonprofit organization specializing in early childhood development, met in the State Capitol Museum to call for the legislation to add at least an additional $10 million in the budget to child care services.
The Associated Press reported Thursday that the Arizona House is nearing a budget deal that has “a small increase in child welfare spending.”
- The 5 worst things you could do for your roof
- 6 coolest things brewing in Arizona
- The virus that keeps head and neck cancers on the rise
- State Fair ‘Kid Reporter’ has all the angles covered
- 4 important things to know about timeshare maintenance fees
- Signs of delayed car crash injuries
- The truth about sports concussions
- The Alzheimer's epidemic: Facts you need to know
- The season is here, keep your Fantasy Football team strong all season
- 8 TV shows you can't miss this fall
- Football is here: 6 tips to make this your best season ever
- Gameday recipes and beers to match
- 6 reasons the Cardinals are driven to win the Super Bowl
- The Pac-12 football season nears kickoff
- Tips to get ready for a pain-free golf season
- Protect your family with these 7 home security features
- How to train like an Olympic swimmer
- 2016 Olympics: A guide to must-see TV events
- The bride's guide to feeling your best on your wedding day
- Deciding when you need knee surgery
- Celebrating Fourth of July is much cooler in these AZ towns
- Top ten road trip bathrooms in America
- Six things causing a pain in your neck
- 5 things to make your summer move easier
- Three elements of a strong timeshare exit guarantee
- Stretches and exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome
- The best Major League ballparks have their own personality
- Comparing the best regular seasons: The '96 Bulls and '16 Warriors
- 3 Arizona road trips and the vehicles to get you there
- Colon cancer is preventable. Check these signs and symptoms to stay healthy.