Ignored CPS Cases: More Than 100 Required an Immediate Response

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The head of the team tasked with watching and helping Child Protective Services process more than 6,500 ignored cases says 119 cases that were previously sitting on the shelf actually necessitated an "immediate response."

Charles Flanagan, the director of Arizona's juvenile corrections, who's been assigned by the governor to run a "CARE Team," to deal with the revelation of ignored CPS cases, provided the update to the CPS oversight committee at the state capitol yesterday.

See also:
-CPS Memo: Ignored Investigations a Clear Attempt to Reduce Caseloads

In one case, a child was removed from his or her mother's home, to be placed in the father's home. Of the 6,554 cases marked "not investigated," and thus ignored, Flanagan's team reported last night that 1,615 of the cases have been assigned, and workers have responded in 730 cases.

In 590 cases, workers were able to get their eyes on the children, which is one of the main goals of going back through these ignored cases.

There are now 12 law enforcement agencies helping to get eyes on the kids, Flanagan said, although the help from police doesn't replace the CPS investigations.

An interesting point about how these investigations will proceed was brought up by Cherie Klavitter, a citizen member of the CPS oversight committee who's also a foster parent. She expressed a concern that some of these cases will be handled with an "alternative investigation," something that reportedly has been said by Department of Economic Security Director Clarence Carter.

Klavitter didn't express much faith in the "alternative investigations," which are done in cases where it's determined that a full investigation isn't necessary.

According to one CPS document:
Prior to an alternative assessment, the child's and family's circumstance may meet one or more of the following criteria: no current safety threat indicated; the perpetrator had no current access to the child(ren) victim; child(ren) were visible in the community; and prior history on the child and family did not indicate a current safety concern to the child.
You can see where this could be a problem, since CPS workers already tagged thousands of cases in such a way that they wouldn't be investigated, although some of them very clearly needed investigation, and some needed to be investigated immediately.

Meanwhile, Arizona Department of Public Safety Director Robert Halliday told the panel that his agency's administrative investigation of CPS is still under way, and said it would be "inappropriate" to say at what point the agency is in the investigation.

Members of the committee tried to prod Halliday to figure out exactly what this investigation's going to be about, although Halliday didn't really clear that up. He did, however, say that the results of this report would be released directly to Carter. Although it can be released to the public with a public-records request, it certainly seemed strange to some that the investigation would go straight to Carter, whose firing is being called for by several people.

To check in on how the "CARE Team" is processing these cases, Flanagan said the team's website is constantly being updated with the latest statistics, at azcareteam.az.gov.

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Follow Matthew Hendley on Twitter at @MatthewHendley.



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16 comments
LoveItOrLeaveIt2
LoveItOrLeaveIt2

I just reviewed the reports posted at https://azcareteam.az.gov/ and it got me wondering where all the children removed from their home are being cared for.


"In summary, there have been a total of 252 removals from the original NI cases, involving a total of 390 children to date."  That's a lot of children to find homes for.  Has money been allocated to find foster homes, or is AZ unusual in that there are plenty of foster parents just waiting for some children?  Is the approach used to take them out of the home first, or try to work with the family through counselling and other support services to keep the family together?


Hopefully all children who have been abused and/or neglected will be placed with an adult or adults who will give them the care, love, and support they will assuredly need.


Obviously it's a disgrace that so many cases piled up.  The causes for abuse and neglect are as many as there are children but funding and caseloads obviously play a role in many States handling of child welfare cases.  


I don't see any stats as to race, age, or sex of the children.  Perhaps those stats are being recorded and simply not shared on the site.

MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967 topcommenter

I have to wonder how government can fuck up so badly as to ignore thousands of cases.

Politics has nothing to do with this (I'm talking to you Robert)

DNichols
DNichols

Wonderful Sheriff Arpaio ignored Children being RAPED!

County Attorney Bill Montgomery just "Granted Amnesty/Plea Deal" to his Border dating Best Freind Child Molester Minute Man Chris Simcox for putting his fingers in his own Childs Vagina!!!

Montgomery is a Disgrace to America's Judicial System, and to our Children, why the HELL is this Ass Clown now pretending to care about CPS ignored Child Abuse?!!!

This whole investigation is a FARCE/COVER UP.

robert_graham
robert_graham

You owe Sheriff Joe an apology or is it still his fault for suposedly ignoring what were CPS cases instead?

danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

too little, too late. heads should roll. hopefully these kids get the help they needed first time around

shadeaux14
shadeaux14

Just another CPS crises brought to you by the folks who continue to vote for conservative ideology.


DPSnAZ
DPSnAZ

@robert_graham 

Bobby boy, please learn from your parents' mistake, use birth control, please!

danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

@robert_graham child abuse and neglect are CPS cases, rape and molestation are what Joe was supposed to be dealing with.............both agencies did epic fails. nobody owes Joe any form of apology, and he still owes a real apology to the victims in the cases he ignored

DNichols
DNichols

@DPSnAZ

I doubt Arpaio's little Butt Buddy can become pregnant?!

shadeaux14
shadeaux14

@valleynative,

The causes are too complex for the simpleton Republicans in this state to solve, They've been in power for decades and during those decades and the many "crises" in which it was evident that CPS was an abject failure, they have NEVER come up with an effective way to deal with the problem.

Keep doing the same thing and you will keep getting the same result

SIMPLE, now go vote Republican again Arizona, you're not bright enough to do differently.

danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

@valleynative no simple solutions for this either which is the really disparaging part. i really dont see any effective way to deal with or correct the damage that has already been done.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@shadeaux14@valleynative 

You generalize so broadly, and then accuse others of not being bright.  Think about each issue and each candidate on its own merits.

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