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PHOENIX -- Nearly 400 children have been removed from Arizona homes identified through thousands of child abuse and neglect reports that weren't investigated by the state's child welfare agency in recent years.

The figures were released late Tuesday by a special team created by Gov. Jan Brewer after more than 6,500 ignored reports came to light in November.

The findings show just how much the state's child welfare authorities botched reviews of calls to the state's abuse hotline.

Most removals came before the uninvestigated cases were discovered after a second abuse report. But since renewed investigations were launched, 36 cases led to the removal of 69 children.

Brewer removed the state's Child Protective Services department from its parent agency on Monday and set up a new cabinet-level department to handle child welfare.

Associated Press,

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