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Arizona Department of Child Safety unveils new welcome center for Arizona foster kids; Hobbs, Ducey, Brewer in attendance | #childsafety | #kids | #chldern | #parents | #schoolsafey

Bridget Dowd/KJZZ

Department of Child Safety Director David Lujan, Gov. Katie Hobbs and former Gov. Doug Ducey stand together for a ribbon cutting on Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2023.

On Tuesday, the Arizona Department of Child Safety unveiled a new welcome center for youth entering foster care. Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs and Republican former Govs. Doug Ducey and Jan Brewer were there for the ribbon cutting.

Each year, about 4,000 Arizona children enter foster care. DCS Director David Lujan said the new welcome center is where they’ll spend the first 48 hours or so after being removed from their homes.

“At this facility, we can meet the immediate needs of infants, toddlers, elementary-aged children and teenagers all under one roof with activity rooms, outdoor playgrounds and sleeping quarters that are tailored to the ages and interests of the children served at this center,” he said.

Hobbs said the new facility offers a safe, supportive space for those kids, but she also wants to expand the services that would prevent a child from going there in the first place.

“That includes making the workforce more accessible, expanding childcare, and providing easier pathways to stable housing,” she said. “These are the building blocks that allow Arizonans to thrive and are critical to keeping families together.”

The new center will offer an onsite health clinic, outdoor playgrounds, sleeping spaces and a cafeteria.

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