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PHOENIX -- A new team assigned to review more than 6,500 child abuse and neglect reports that weren't investigated by Arizona child welfare officials says they've now assigned nearly 6,000 of those cases to investigators.

The so-called CARE team named on Dec. 2 by Gov. Jan Brewer provided the latest update Friday.

It said almost 2,900 children identified in the reports now have been seen and close to 2,600 cases have had a response.

The team is led by the head of the state's Juvenile Corrections department, Charles Flanagan.

Department of Economic Security Director Clarence Carter revealed the uninvestigated reports called into a hotline on Nov. 21.

Carter has placed five senior Child Protective Services workers on administrative leave while an investigation is underway on how the cases were illegally closed.

Associated Press,

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