A new analysis shows Arizona's child welfare system has seen a greater caseload increase than all but one state in 10 years ending in 2012, while most states saw decreases.
University of Chicago researcher and former federal child welfare commissioner Bryan Samuels also found the response time for child abuse and neglect complaints soared from 63 hours to nearly 250 hours between 2009 and 2012.
Samuels told the Legislature's Child Protective Services oversight committee Friday that Arizona's child welfare system was overwhelmed.
That's no surprise to the oversight committee, created in 2012 to focus on fixing the system. That charge became more urgent when more than 6,500 un-investigated abuse and neglect reports were revealed in November.
Legislation to turn CPS into a stand-alone agency is being drafted.