Arizona child welfare officials say about 6,000 cases of suspected child abuse or neglect were never investigated after being reported to a statewide Arizona hotline over the past four years. Governor Jan Brewer said she would insist on accountability and reforms so it never happens again.
Department of Economic Security Director Clarence Carter says a team at Arizona's Child Protective Services agency improperly designated the cases "N.I." – meaning "Not Investigated" – to help manage the heavy workload and focus on the most severe cases. At least 125 cases already have been identified in which children were later alleged to have been abused. Officials plan to review all of the cases. The head of an Arizona child advocacy organization says the mishandling of the reports was just part of a whole list of problems at the agency.