Tuesday, June 2, 2015

One of Every 100 Arizona Children in Foster Care-ASK GOVERNOR DOUG DUCEY WHY?

Ask Ducey Why
The only thing more shocking than the number of Arizona children still in crisis is the governor’s failure to develop a concrete plan for fixing the year-old Department of Child Safety.  The Brewer administration created this department after disbanding the overwhelmed Child Protective Services, which left more than 6,000 reports of abuse and neglect uninvestigated. 

The creation of the Department of Child Safety was supposed to ensure that child safety was a priority in the state. It was tasked with reviewing the uninvestigated reports and working through a 14,762-case backlog and then focus on prevention services that help keep families from moving into crisis.  A year later, child safety services in Arizona remain in critical condition.  And some argue the situation has actually gotten worse:

* The backlog is up from 14,762 in 2014 to 15,473 in 2015
* The number of Arizona children entering foster care is 56 percent higher in 2015[1] than in 2014
One in every 100 Arizona children is in foster care[2]
287 children slept in DCS offices for at least one night in April 2015
* About one in five kids removed from unsafe homes in Arizona were initially placed in group homes or shelters
* About one in four reports of abuse or neglect remain unresolved since 2014

As long as the Department of Child Safety stays in crisis itself, it will never be focused on prevention, and the number of at-risk children in our state will continue to rise. The governor, so far, has not provided a meaningful plan for getting this department on track.  House Democrats have asked repeatedlyto receive regular updates about the department, so they can ensure it is getting the resources needed to keep kids safe. Those requests have not been answered sufficiently.  But we will continue to ask.

To find ways to get involved, call for more accountability and demand a plan from the governor, click here.  It’s time to #AskDuceyWhy things are still this bad #OneYearLater.

[1]Division of Children, Youth and Families Case Count Summary Report Data for February 2015
[2] DCS oversight committee meeting 5/28/15 Dashboard – Context Statistics and Outcome Data, video available at http://azleg.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=22&clip_id=16068 Source