Ignored CPS Cases: Nearly 400 Kids Have Been Removed From Their Homes
The team tasked with reviewing the 6,500-plus "not investigated" cases at Child Protective Services says nearly 400 children involved in those cases have been removed from their homes.
Although these children would have been removed from their homes sooner had these cases not been shelved at CPS, those kids would likely still be there today were it not for the recently created Office of Child Welfare Investigations discovering the ignored cases.
There's still no answer why CPS workers were even allowed to tag the cases with a "not investigated" label, which actually meant that they didn't plan on investigating them. The Arizona Department of Public Safety is conducting an "administrative review" to find out what happened.
After these cases were uncovered by OCWI, Governor Jan Brewer set up a Child Advocate Response Examination (CARE) Team to immediately deal with the ignored cases. The team is led by Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections director Charles Flanagan, who's been named as new director of the Division of Child Safety and Family Services, the new CPS parent agency created by the governor.
The CARE Team has been providing updates almost every day on its website, and the most recent update explains how many children were actually removed from their homes that were part of the "not investigated" reports.
The CARE Team found that "at least" 316 kids were removed due to subsequent reports, after their initial report had been tagged "not investigated." That's certainly an indication that those "not investigated" reports really should have been investigated.
Plus, since this CARE Team has taken over the review, an additional 60 children have been removed from their homes.
A lot of these reports involved multiple children, so 249 of the 6,500-plus "not investigated" cases have resulted in children being removed.
The team's not done processing the cases, either. The team has assigned more than 5,900 of those cases, and more than 3,600 of the kids in these reports have actually been seen by police or CPS investigators.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Phoenix New Times' biggest stories.