PHOENIX — During today’s State of the State address, Governor Doug Ducey recognized the continued positive results of the Department of Child Safety (DCS) and called for increased funding to help find more kids loving homes.
During the speech, Governor Ducey said:
Over at the Department of Child Safety, our dedicated caseworkers have led an unrivaled turnaround. Safely reducing the number of children in out-of-home care by 4,565 kids. They’ve reduced the average time to place a child in a foster home from a work week to same-day. It’s a national model for how to help our kids. For the second year in a row, our budget includes additional dollars to reward the selfless public servants responsible for the turnaround with a well-deserved raise.
Raising Caseworker Salaries
The Fiscal Year 2020 budget included funding to increase DCS caseworker salaries 5 percent. Governor Ducey’s Executive Budget Proposal will fully implement the 15 percent raises begun last year.
Increasing Adoption Subsidies And the Grandma Stipend
Governor Ducey’s executive budget will also increase subsidies to provide incentives for parents to adopt sibling groups and children with significant developmental disabilities. During the speech, Governor stated:
To get more of these children into permanent loving homes, I'm proposing a $19 million investment in funding new adoptions. Our goal: keep brothers and sisters together, and help children with disabilities. We will also be doubling the grandma stipend, to provide needed resources to keep families together.
With some of the best results in the nation for finding children safe, loving homes, the Arizona Department of Child Safety has become a national model.
- From a high of over 19,000 children, Arizona reduced its number of children in out-of-home care to 13,396, a more than 25 percent decrease.
- Arizona eliminated the backlog of over 16,000 inactive cases (those exceeding the 60-day closure deadline) reducing the amount to below 150. This is an all-time low, and well below a legislative-set benchmark of 1,000 cases.
- Arizona reduced the average time to place a child in a foster home from 40 hours to within a day.