Scottsdale Police to Investigate Ignored CPS Cases in the City

Instead of waiting for the understaffed Child Protective Services to get around to looking into the ignored cases of abuse in Scottsdale, the police department announced that it's going to help out.

Of the 6,554 ignored reports to the CPS hotline, 143 occurred in Scottsdale, and the police department's making a task force to investigate those cases.

See also:
-CPS Plans to Have Investigations Started on Ignored Cases by End of January

Last month, CPS announced the thousands of ignored cases -- the result of an apparent labeling problem. People had been calling the CPS hotline for the last three years to report child abuse or neglect, but a CPS employee (or employees) labeled those 6,500-plus cases in such a way that they'd never get investigated by a caseworker.

Officials have yet to provide a reason as to why marking the cases that way, as "Not Investigated," was even an option, since CPS is bound by law to look into every allegation, to a certain extent.

And while that mess remains unresolved, CPS' parent organization, the state Department of Economic Security, announced that it planned to have investigations started into all the ignored cases by the end of January. Governor Jan Brewer also assembled a Child Advocate Response Examination (CARE) team to oversee the re-processing of these cases.

Scottsdale's not going to wait around for that, according to a joint statement from the city and CPS' Office of Child Welfare Investigations (which discovered the thousands of ignored cases).

Following guidelines set by the Team, SPD will contact, if possible, the source of the original report of suspected maltreatment, [and view] the child to the extent necessary to describe the child's overall appearance. In addition, officers will conduct an interview based on the report allegations and will go through a safety assessment checklist and follow up to view the child's living conditions.
In a statement, Mayor Jim Lane urged other cities to make the same move.

Although CPS officials have said only a handful of the ignored hotline allegations detail potential criminal conduct, and say that no child has died since a hotline call was made, there's no way of telling when caseworkers will get around to all of these cases. Even before this discovery was made, CPS caseworkers already had case loads well above normal, and budget requests were made for hundreds more caseworkers before this whole thing was made public.

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Follow Matthew Hendley on Twitter at @MatthewHendley.