Report on CPS Failures Cites Too Much Work

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The team Governor Jan Brewer assigned to process and review the thousands of cases ignored by Child Protective Services reports that the root cause of the failure is that "demand exceeds capacity."

The "CARE Team" led by Charles Flanagan -- who's since been tasked with running the new agency that includes CPS -- cites many more problems in their report, but it's all traced back to workers having too much work to keep up with.

This report isn't a full investigation and doesn't identify the specific workers who implemented the plan to just shelve thousands of cases -- some of which should have been investigated immediately -- but the Arizona Department of Public Safety is currently doing its own investigative review of the agency.

The CARE Team reports that due to insufficient staffing, CPS has high turnover, a backlog of cases, high wait times, and abandoned calls at the CPS hotline. These things lead to a lack of standards, inexperienced supervisors, insufficient training, and more individual judgments, the report states.

So it's not just a staffing problem, the team concluded. There are too many places where all of these cases can fall through the cracks, which should never happen.

"The cost of a failure in this process is significant. A process failure puts a child in harm's way; a single failure can result in the death of a child," the report states. "Our [review team] identified 142 total failure points between a call arriving at the Hotline and closing an investigation."

The workload's described in the report as an "unwinnable game" -- it's just impossible to manage the work.

Although it's not a major part of the report, people on the CPS oversight committee, as well as CPS employees interviewed for this report, have said that the database for these hotline calls is horrible to navigate and takes way more time than it should. Both CPS reviewers and some legislators have called for funding to overhaul this database for several years now, but it hasn't happened yet.

Governor Brewer called for such an update in her budget proposal.

As for staffing, the Legislature just approved about $6.8 million to hire more CPS workers. Plus, Brewer's budget calls for another $21.5 million budgeted for new employees next year.

This is all in addition to last year's budget, which included $12.9 million for 150 new employees, plus more supplemental funds approved by legislators -- another $4.4 million from the general fund for another 50 caseworkers.

The CARE Team report can be found below:

CARE Team Report 2014-01-31

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Follow Matthew Hendley on Twitter at @MatthewHendley.

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For the sake of Racism, and Hate toward Hispanic Immigrants Jan Brewer has ignored both the C.P.S., and M.C.S.O. Massive  Failures of responsibility protecting Children for both of her terms as not Governor, but as Fuhrer.

Brewer has earned a legacy of missmanagement, and Bigotry Period.

After all these years of hugging Nazi's with Arpaio, and Pearce she now pretends to care about Arizona's Child Abuse?!

Please Jan just Nasty away?


This really shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. It's been more than 10 years since I worked in mental health, another huge branch of health services funded by the state. The case managers for the severely ill clients were supposed to have their caseloads capped at 15, and consistently had 40+ cases. And they were making about $12/hr. You can't expect quality social service delivery if you don't have the staff to do it properly.


Where's the mention that this is all Arpaio's fault? So now you are targeting CPS just like you have targeted Sheriff Joe.  Truth is, most of these cases are the fault of your disgusting


lol. Your kidding right? Seriously? Lol.

dennis20 topcommenter

Republicans love to cut and blame. Brewer and the GOP were warned repeatedly over the years they were underfunded and didn't have enough workers to handle it. This is what happens when you hate government. 

Cozz topcommenter


With all the teenage pron sites you own, you know a lot about disgusting .coms, don't you Jaffy

danzigsdaddy topcommenter

@robert_graham  well Robert, if we felt it was Joes fault, we would have pointed a finger at him, but we dont. are you upset because we arent bringing the love of your life up in this blog?


@dennis20 Now aren't you the hypocrite!  Republicans don't cut and blame -- Democrats do.  But like always, when you start to lose the debate, shout racist! LOSER!!!

danzigsdaddy topcommenter

@robert_graham republicans dont cut and blame? i am republican and i know for a fact that our party does the same exact thing. both parties do.. this is all from a agency that was ill equipped to deal with their caseload and you (a republican) just pointed a finger at some instead of where the problem really lies. so you just proved that republicans do cut and blame

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