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5/23/2014 6:02:00 AM
Brewer calls special session for child safety
Gov. Jan Brewer
Gov. Jan Brewer

Matt Reinig
Miner reporter

KINGMAN - Gov. Jan Brewer signed a proclamation Thursday calling the Arizona Legislature into a special session to address child safety reform proposals and overhaul the state's child safety system.

Brewer's reform proposal would create and fund a new, standalone agency called the Department of Child Safety, which would focus solely on child safety, according to Brewer's office.

Brewer said Arizona's child safety system has long been a failure that lacked transparency, accountability, resources while building up a backlog of cases.

"It is time that we establish a new department - with a mission focused on child safety, a culture conducive to fulfilling that mission, and the resources to do the job," Brewer stated in a release.

House Minority Whip Eric Meyer, D-Paradise Valley, said House Democrats will ensure the establishment of an agency equipped to help Arizona's most vulnerable children.

"Moving forward, we must prioritize resources for caseworkers and it is critical that we fund preventative and support services," Meyer stated in a release. "We should also increase accountability and transparency measures. By doing this, we can address the nearly 15,000-case backlog the state still has.

"Additionally, we can begin to help children before they become victims of abuse or neglect, which will eventually reduce the caseload."

The special session will take place Tuesday in Phoenix.

In November, the Office of Child Welfare Investigations discovered thousands of cases of potential child abuse and neglect had gone uninvestigated.

In January, Brewer signed an executive order abolishing Child Protective Services and reorganizing a new Division of Child Safety and Family Services, which reports directly to the governor.

Charles Flanagan, director of Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections, is head of the new department.

State Rep. Doris Goodale, R-Kingman, anticipated the primary focus of the special session would be the results of the Child Protective Services investigation conducted by Flanagan.

"There was quite a few lack of investigations in the child cases," Goodale said.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Monday, May 26, 2014
Article comment by: mark the truck driver

I fought for my daughter for 5 yrs.I even had a lawyer and still did'nt get custody of my daughter.the cps made a bad choice due to the lack of common sense.get it right this time people for the childrens sake.

Posted: Sunday, May 25, 2014
Article comment by: DOLLAR BILL

"There, I fixed it for you"

And who runs everything in the state of Arizona, Randy? democrats?

Not bloody likely! Where have you been for the past few years? At a tea party retreat?

Posted: Sunday, May 25, 2014
Article comment by: Thai Mai Shu

@ Biker Randy....

I don't need my opinion "fixed" thank you.

Don't blame a political party for problems that are rampant in a republican run system.

Politics have nothing to do with people that can't or won't do their job.

Posted: Friday, May 23, 2014
Article comment by: biker randy

You see, all Democrat politicians don't always disclose the whole truth and they are masters at talking around it.

There, I fixed your last sentence for you, TMS.


Posted: Friday, May 23, 2014
Article comment by: Justa Citizen

I'm all for child safety and protecting our kids, but I'm a little leery of this new agency.

I'm always reading in the paper where some parent was arrested and the kids taken into "protective custody" because some do-gooder saw them slapping the kid's hands or spanking them on the butt at the grocery store and called it in to the authorities.

Then I read where a parent or somebody CPS gave a kid to being arrested for major child abuse (physical and mental), locking kids up in closets, sexual abuse, and on and on and then, some judge or CPS bureaucrat sends the kid back to them.

I'm not sure just changing the name of the agency will solve the problem.

If the government would quit trying to micromanage every aspect of our lives, they could concentrate on the important things better. I know it's a fine line in determining abuse but if a kid gets a spanking it's not abuse. If a kid has to go to the hospital for his injuries or is 12 and the weight of a 2 year old, it's child abuse. Those parents/guardians should be prosecuted and never allowed to have authority over another child, PERIOD!!

Spankings and harsh words won't scar a child for life. It's called being a parent and the government should have nothing to do with it.

"his" above applies to boys and girls.

Posted: Friday, May 23, 2014
Article comment by: Thai Mai Shu

I can testify to the glaring fact that the CPS system and "child welfare" in this state are in total chaos.

Maybe not enough funding, maybe employees that are there just for a pay check, maybe mismanagement. I can easily say there is more than one problem.

I only hope in this so called rebuilding of the system that some consideration of the truth be involved. You see, the State of Arizona doesn't always disclose the whole truth and they are masters at talking around it.

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