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Record number of children in foster care in Ariz.

Record number of children in foster care in Ariz.

CREATED Jul 31, 2012

Web Producer: Taylor Avey

PHOENIX (AP) - More Arizona children are in foster care than ever before.

The state Department of Economic Security says nearly 13,200 children have been living with relatives or placed in foster homes, group homes or shelters as of May 31. That's an increase of 413 children in one month.

The Arizona Republic reports that the latest figures also show the state's Child Protective Services is struggling with case backlogs.

State law requires that investigations into abuse and neglect be completed within 45 days. But one-fourth of the reports the agency received a year ago remained open as of June 2.

Another 1,400 such reports received between July 2011 and April haven't been investigated.

Data on child abuse and neglect covering another six months is expected to be released later this week.

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Information from: The Arizona Republic, http://www.azcentral.com

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)