Arizona’s child-protection agency will have a new investigations office focusing on abuse and neglect cases that allegedly involve criminal conduct.
A bill signed Wednesday by Gov. Jan Brewer to create the new office in Child Protective Services takes effect Dec. 31.
Under the legislation, the office’s personnel will have expertise and training to understand the role of law enforcement so cases involving possible criminal conduct are referred to police agencies.
The unit’s creation was recommended by a task force appointed by Brewer. That followed high-profile incidents where children were harmed despite previous complaints being made to CPS.
The newly approved state budget includes money for the unit.
Another bill signed by Brewer streamlines CPS procedures and makes other changes intended to improve responses to complaints of abuse and neglect.