Jan Brewer's Office Explains How the New CPS Works
The former home of Child Protective Services.
Governor Jan Brewer said Monday that she signed an executive order to get rid of Child Protective Services "as we know it."
Today, Brewer's office released a document that attempts to explain why CPS 2.0 and the Division of Child Safety and Family Services are improvements over the previous CPS system.
-Jan Brewer "Abolishes CPS as We Know It"
First, Department of Juvenile Corrections director Charles Flanagan becomes director of the new Division of Child Safety and Family Services. Since CPS is no longer part of the Department of Economic Security, that means DES director Clarence Carter's no longer at the top of CPS.
The new agency run by Flanagan includes child-welfare programs that include CPS, as well as foster care, adoption, and the healthcare system for children in foster care -- so CPS as we know it appears to live on.
By law, the Office of Child Welfare Investigations, the relatively new CPS-oversight agency, which is credited with the discovery of more than 6,500 allegations to CPS of abuse and neglect being ignored, still reports to DES Director Carter. But it also reports to Flanagan, too.
Brewer is asking the Legislature to make the new Division of Child Safety and Family Services a permanent agency, and make that Office of Child Welfare Investigations a part of it.
"The current organization of CPS within DES inhibits accountability and transparency, because child safety competes with other missions," the governor's "fact sheet" says.
If that all sounds bureaucratic to you, consider that it was worse before yesterday. CPS was part of something called the Division of Children, Youth, and Families. That division was one of six "programs" that reported to DES director Carter, in addition to other "offices" and "divisions" that reported to him, too.
That's why, after the discovery of the thousands of ignored CPS cases, there were so many calls to put CPS in its own agency that reports directly to the governor.
You can see what the new structure of the aforementioned agencies looks like in the graphic below (Click to see the full-size image).
The document produced by Brewer's office can be found here.
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.