Tales from the Field: How the recession is affecting youth services.

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Phoenix—Arizona’s Division of Children, Youth and Families has laid off 181 workers this year, including 159 Child Protective Services “specialists” (investigators and case managers). Furloughs have been ordered for other staffers, including the remaining 800 CPS specialists.

One result: “We estimate that 90 percent of Priority 4 reports – potential risk reports that represent the lowest risk level of report we receive – are not being investigated,” writes agency spokeswoman Elizabeth Barker Alvarez.

Also reduced are monthly foster family reimbursement rates, substance abuse treatment services, monthly independent living stipends for youths aging out of care, and in-home services, among other things, Alvarez said.

The division is part of the Department of Economic Security, which has cut 800 jobs altogether.