PHOENIX - 385 children have been removed from their homes so far while investigators pour through nearly 6,500 cases that fell through the Child Protective Services cracks.
Now our state is trying something new to learn how to fix the problem. Cynthia Schuler ran the equivalent of CPS in Florida for years.
"Florida was probably even worse off than Arizona was ten years ago, and they really were able to turn the system around," Schuler said.
That's why Schuler was invited to speak in front of the Arizona Senate Health and Human Services Committee Wednesday, sharing what she learned and what she suggests Arizona do to fix its botched system.
"My first thought is that we need to clean up the backlog," Schuler said.
We know Arizona's CPS workers are behind on their cases, and Schuler said the way to fix that is to let those investigators do the current work so the backlog doesn't get even worse.
"Well I think they could get their backlog done in six months," she said.
Schuler said the situation in Arizona is heartbreaking.
"I think it's sad that it's gone on this long without getting resolved," she said.
She said Governor Jan Brewer creating a new agency is just the first step.
"Arizona is going to have to commit to whatever they're doing and understand it's going to take a couple of years to get it into place," Schuler said.