Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Arizona House Democrat to Host DCS Forum

Bad news has become old news when it comes to the Arizona Department of Child Safety. The agency is still responsible for 19,000 children. And the little progress it has made in the two years since CPS was dissolved and replaced with DCS pales in comparison to the danger and stress so many of Arizona’s children face.

House Democrats have long called for better accountability from the agency charged with protecting our most vulnerable children. We have pushed for greater investments in preventative services to keep more children from unnecessarily entering the system and to reduce the high turnover among caseworkers.

In the meantime, Gov. Ducey’s interpretation of “increasing transparency and accountability” has been to cut the number of organizations providing services in half, and to reduce by half the reimbursement rate to remaining organizations. With the governor apparently so disinterested in transparency and accountability, and Legislative Republicans unwilling to stand up for our children, it’s no wonder Arizona ranks 45th for child welfare.

But House Democrats are not willing to give up the fight, because our children’s wellbeing is just too important. To allow Arizonans to share their experiences with DCS and their ideas for its improvement, Rep. Sally Ann Gonzales, D-Tucson (District 3), will host a DCS Feedback Forum on Aug. 25 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Valencia Library at 202 W Valencia Rd. Tucson, AZ 85706. The event will be free and open to the public and press.

The DCS crisis must be dealt with, and success will depend on transparency and communication among the agency, the governor, the Legislature, community advocates and the public. House Democrats are committed. Community advocates and the public are committed. Gov. Ducey, Legislative Republicans, are you?