In this article, you will learn the three major avenues of help available to you from Arizona. Among them are Investigations, Caseworker training, and Costs. Our office is an “inside job” that keeps the persecution of victims a CPS arizona. Let’s look at each of these avenues to help you understand the legal process and how the system works.
Child welfare reporting in Arizona is addressed by state law, including Laws 2020, Chapter 53. These laws establish a Joint Legislative Oversight Committee, whose purpose is to evaluate policies, procedures, and effectiveness. The committee is required to report to the Governor by September 30, 2021. Laws 2018 Chapter 282 requires field offices and the ECDH to prepare a joint report on child welfare practices. This report is due February 1, 2019.
When someone is suspected of child abuse, he or she must report it to the appropriate person. That person can be a police officer, a teacher, a volunteer, or any other school employee. The reporting requirement is not satisfied if a volunteer reports suspected abuse to a teacher, principal, or any other school employee. The reporting must be done to the appropriate authorities. If a child is being abused, the volunteer must report the case.
An agency that oversees the care of children. Previously, they employed clerical workers whose primary duties were to type up notes and assist with communications. Now, the agency uses contract staff to conduct various tasks and interview certain individuals. But they are prohibited from interviewing children, alleged adults, or parents who have been subject to domestic violence. The backlog of cases is a growing concern, and the Arizona Department of Economic Security hopes the new initiatives will attract more qualified caseworkers and reduce the burden on the system.
While child welfare work is demanding and emotionally draining, state agencies expect a turnover rate of 20 to 22 percent. However, the turnover rate in Arizona is particularly troubling. A constant stream of new caseworkers may result in a parade of inexperienced caseworkers causing a chaotic situation for children and their families. This could lead to a dangerous situation for the children. To address this issue, CPS Arizona has been working to improve caseworker training and turnover rates.
Child Protective Services (CPS) in Arizona investigate reports of child abuse or neglect. An investigation begins when the Department of Child Safety contacts the reporting source. The Department of Child Safety withholds the identity of the person making the report but will attempt to verify the claim by reviewing previous reports and contacting other sources if possible. Once the investigation has been completed, the child may be returned to the parent, who will have the right to appeal the decision.
In Arizona, the backlog of DCS investigations has grown rapidly over the past several years. The growing backlog was attributed to inefficient processes, staff turnover, and burdensome documentation requirements. In 2014, state lawmakers created a new department to oversee DCS, pulling DCS from the Department of Economic Security. However, child welfare leaders have faced difficulty getting the new agency up and running. As a result, there have been more cases filed against the agency.
The costs of child protective services in Arizona are enormous, with more than half of welfare funds being diverted to the state’s Department of Child Safety. We investigate and take children from poor parents, and often for reasons related to poverty. This is an outlier in the United States, with other states allocating around 8% of their welfare budgets to child protective services. But the cost of child welfare in Arizona goes beyond the children themselves.
The Department of Economic Security (DESS) has ruled that child protective services should not receive an increase in budget funding in the current fiscal year. In fact, it was too early to ask for a midyear budget increase at this time. However, the child protection services system was previously allowed to spend whatever it wanted, and the rest of the agency could make up for lost funds. The state budget is $1.2 billion in 2017, and this year’s request will cover only a portion of the agency’s costs.
Opposition to DCS
Opposition to in Arizona is largely motivated by its legislative history. The Arizona Legislature created the Department of Child Safety in 2014, separate from the Department of Economic Security, and promulgated numerous statutes concerning its role in protecting children. In fact, Arizona’s laws concerning the state’s role in protecting children go back to the 1970s, so the department has a lengthy legal background. But despite this extensive history, there has been widespread opposition to DCS.
The Department of Child Safety and Services (CPS) in Arizona has long been criticized for its secrecy, and a recent string of child deaths led to landmark legislative reforms. In 2008, the Arizona state legislature passed legislation mandating that employees submit to more stringent checks. But this recent ruling raises serious questions about the agency’s accountability. Ultimately, the public and lawmakers demand accountability.
As a state legislator, Arizona has created the Office of Child Protection Services to investigate complaints. The Ombudsman has the authority to request information from the child protection agency or any other entity to conduct the investigation. Once the investigation is complete, the Ombudsman may recommend a remedy. The Ombudsman is a neutral third party between the citizen and the agency, conducting an investigation in a fair and impartial manner. He does not serve as a lawyer, advocate, or representative of any individual.
According to the Arizona Revised Statutes Titles 8 and 41, is required to give access to the records of those involved in the custody, placement, and care of a child. Because the State of Arizona Ombudsman-Citizens’ Aide Office is independent, this statutory requirement helps ensure the transparency and fairness of process. If you or a loved one has been the subject of a DCS investigation, contact the State of Arizona Ombudsman-Citizens’ Aide Office.