Arizona's Child Welfare Agency Asks For Funding Increase
Governor Doug Ducey will introduce his budget next week where he will recommend how much to fund each state agency.
Among the proposals he is considering is whether to increase funding for the Department of Child Safety. The agency asked for a 21 percent increase in state money, the majority of which would be dedicated to the more than 18,600 children in foster and group homes, shelters and with extended family members.
Dana Wolfe Naimark is president of Children’s Action Alliance, an advocacy organization. She said she is disappointed the agency didn’t place more of an emphasis on providing families in-home services.
“It takes a governor's leadership, multiple state agencies, multiple community stakeholders to be involved," she said. "But what is within the agency’s purview, front and center, is increasing the use of those in-home services.”
Naimark said providing the social services to families prior to a crisis helps keep kids out of the foster care system. In the DCS's budget request, the agency asked for $12.7 million less for these in-home services.