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Governor Asks for Funds to Improve Child Protective Services

Saying children are in danger, Gov. Jan Brewer told lawmakers Monday she wants lawmakers money to hire 200 additional caseworkers for Child Protective Services.

In her State of the State speech, the governor detailed steps that already have been taken at the agency, including overhauling the hotline system so the most urgent calls get the fastest attention and cutting the paperwork so caseworkers can spend more time actually checking up on children. But she said the system remains under pressure without more workers. And soon.

"Because these needs can't wait, I'm asking you to join me in approving an emergency budget request to hire 50 additional caseworkers right now," Brewer told lawmakers.

Brewer also wants more money to boost foster care, adoption services and emergency placement of children.

"We cannot strike evil from the hearts of those who would harm an innocent child. But these common sense steps will help at-risk children get the assistance they need before it's too late," she said.

Brewer also asked lawmakers to provide funds for more police at schools, calling that preferable to turning them into fortresses.