Gov. Jan Brewer

Gov. Jan Brewer [Howard Fischer/Capitol Media Services]

Howard Fischer/Capitol Media Services

The House gave final approval Monday to legislation to require an external review of how Arizona has been handling its child protective services.

SB 1386 sets aside $250,000 to hire an independent consult with expertise in child welfare system planning and operations to consider how best to handle child-welfare matters. The expert is required to report back by next March.

The move comes as Gov. Jan Brewer already is trying to separate Child Protective Services from the state Department of Economic Security.

She wants a new freestanding agency headed by someone who reports directly to the governor, and Brewer already has said she intends to call legislators into special session to do just that once a special committee studying the issue issues its report, perhaps as early as next month.

Senate President Andy Biggs, R-Gilbert, has said his legislation is not intended to stall that move.

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