The Arizona Legislature has called a special session to discuss Governor Jan Brewer’s proposal for overhauling the state’s child welfare. The overhaul was proposed after realizing more than 6,500 abuse and neglect reports were closed without any form of investigation. After months of reevaluation and rewriting of legislation, a panel of lawmakers has designed a new Child Protective Services department. This meeting will discuss procedural issues, participate in committee hearings, and offer floor debates.
What Brewer is asking
Brewer is asking for an additional $60 million for the CPS department. This would bring the department funding to $827 million.
With the $60 million Brewer plans to:
-Separate the agency from its old parent department
-Focus efforts on the backlog of cases (reaching up to 15,000)
– Acquire additional investigators for child welfare and criminal investigators
-Reduce turnover by offering bonuses to caseworks that work for 18 and 36 moths
There have been many faults found in the Child Protection Service department this past year. Five senior workers, along with the department senior administrator, were fired for closing cases after a paper review. These individuals claimed they were following order and the whole agency is struggling to cope with the rising workload. With the additional funds, Brewer hopes to fix the struggling department.
The Republican Party Reaction
It appears that the majority of Republicans are resigned to give the desired funding, but want additional accountability measures. The many issues, including the backlog of cases, have led to today’s crisis. With the accountability measures the Republican Party wants to ensure these issues and backlogs are properly corrected.
If you feel you need help protecting your family and their rights call Jackson White Law today. Family Law attorney, Timothy Durkin, has the knowledge and experience you need. Call (480) 779-7972 today.