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Independent Review—Arizona’s Child Safety System and the Arizona Department of Child Safety


The Chapin Hall (Chapin Hall) Center for Children at the University of Chicago conducted an independent review of Arizona’s child safety system and the new Arizona Department of Child Safety (Department). Legislation creating this new Department required the Office of the Auditor General to contract with an independent consultant with expertise in child welfare system planning and operations to examine the current child safety system, consider best practices to improve the delivery of child welfare services in Arizona, and provide consultation on effectively establishing the Department with a focus on implementation challenges. Overall, Chapin Hall found that operational ambiguities associated with referral mechanisms, assessment protocols, and service pathways–combined with increasingly high caseloads and lack of resources–have contributed to the numerous challenges facing the new Department. Although Chapin Hall presents a prioritized list of recommendations to address the areas of greatest risk, they also caution that implementing the recommendations will take time and will be challenging given the volume of cases the Department is dealing with as well as the lack of trust stakeholders have with the Department.

Follow-Up Report

Additional Documents