DCS Director says changes are making things better

- According to the Department of Child Safety, the DCS's big backlog in cases has dropped dramatically, and the way they are handling cases has changed.

In an exclusive interview with Department of Child Safety Director Greg McKay, McKay said a lot of the positive steps forward can be credited to people who now know what to do, and how to do it.

"It's resulted in better outcomes across the board," said McKay. "From the amount of kids that are in foster care now, to the amount of kids waiting for foster care placement, to the amount of cases every investigator has."

McKay said for the first time in a decade, more children in Arizona are leaving Foster Care than coming in. He said over the last two years, the backlog of cases went from nearly 17,000, to 860.

"What we did is triaged the whole 16,000 cases," said McKay. "We brought in private contractors to do the work by staff augmentation. We paid overtime, stipends for staff to do. We moved the workforce around to the highest areas of work and population, and we just put a process in place."

McKay also said another major improvement revolves around case loads. Nowadays, each case worker handles approximately 20 cases. That number was once 145.

Although there has been a lot of scrutiny surrounding DCS, McKay said things are improving dramatically, and it will only get better.

"We're getting them in permanent homes quicker, and we're getting them reunified back to their birth families in a better way, a quicker way, and we're not removing as many kids as we used to. We're putting more in home services to strengthen their family where they are," said McKay.

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