05-26-2014, 11:10 AM #1
Arizona poised to heed the anguished call of children
They can rest easier now: Donovan and TaJuana and 2-year-old China Marie, who endured 15 broken bones over 11 months before finally dying 1993 just two weeks after a state child-welfare official declared that she was "thriving."
The Legislature returns to the state Capitol on Tuesday, to fix what ails Arizona's most woeful agency. To listen, finally, to the voices that have long cried out from beyond the grave and across the years...
"This," attorney Steve Twist told me last week, "is the beginning of movement. The governor has now set us inextricably on the path toward child safety which is exactly where we needed to be."
05-26-2014, 11:43 AM #2Registered User
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Well, that's good news. i'm going to follow that story over time and see if they are able to make improvements.
In stories like this I'm always looking for more details. I wonder where exactly the breakdown occurred - did the caseworkers actually not see the children they were documenting? Were they unable to pick up on signs of abuse? Did the abuse happen so sporatically that a child could appear fine one day and dead in two weeks from abuse?
In Texas, we are seeing a rise in court cases where findings of abuse by CPS are being overturned at a greater rate than in years past when parents take the case to court - but still, the rate of being overturned is only about 2% of the total findings of abuse.
Good for the Governor of Arizona - prayers that this movement is successful. It's always so heartbreaking to read cases of children killed by abuse and family and teachers come forward saying they called CPS repeatedly and nothing was done.
05-26-2014, 07:52 PM #3
Indeed, thank God, that at least ONE state is willing to decimate their current dysfunctional CPS divisions, and start again from the ground up to build new and DIFFERENT agencies.
A new agency, separated from the massive Department of Economic Security, and an end to the blurred mission that required both protecting children and reunifying families.
These agencies (child protection, and social services toward reunification) MUST be separated, IMO, in order for proper and effective oversight to occur for both processes. AND, law enforcement must play a far greater role in domestic violence against children, IMO.
The foster care system was never intended to be a source of long term placement for kids. We have no orphanages, there is a shortage of qualified and desirable foster parents, and adoption cannot even be pursued as an option for most kids in care, because of the reluctance to terminate parental rights, in cases that are CLEARLY devastating for children. Many kids bounce between foster care and abusive and neglectful care by parents many times in a very compressed period of their babyhood and childhood.
Worse yet are the kids who turn up murdered or neglected to death, after being returned to parents who lost custody for abuse, then "regained" custody shortly, after a short period of good behavior. We have a lot of data about the behaviors of parents that predict successful reunification, and the behaviors that predict failure at reunification. We need to start paying attention much sooner to the behaviors that predict almost certain failure, and let those kids have a chance at another parenting situation sooner. IMO. We know that bouncing between foster care and recurrent abuse and neglect by bio-parents is devastating for these kids over decades, and impacts their entire lives. We need to make definitive decisions about placement for kids sooner. IMO.
Reunification, as an across the board goal, has got to be abandoned for certain children FAR earlier in the process, IMO. Children are not suitcases, to be "possessed" and "re-possessed" by adults. We must begin to seriously consider the child's best interests, and right to have a childhood apart from repeated and ongoing neglect, abuse, and parental violence.
I will also watch Arizona's progress in this area. I hope very much they are successful, and become a model for other states.
(I could link a ton of good references, but I'll exercise restraint!)
05-27-2014, 09:40 PM #4
Arizona poised to heed the anguished call of children
The Adoption and Safe Families Act tried to address these issues back in 1997.
It called for concurrent planning and termination of parental rights if a child was in care 15 or 18? consecutive months.
Oftentimes States are reluctant to do that until an adoptive family is identified.
The government makes a lousy parent, but sometimes it's necessary.
I really wish more decent people would step up to become foster and adoptive parents to the children languishing in the system. But I certain understand why they don't.
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05-29-2014, 09:34 PM #5
A great day for the children of AZ!Gov. Jan Brewer signs child welfare overhaul billsLess than a year after revelations that thousands of child abuse and neglect reports in Arizona had gone uninvestigated, the state overhauled its child welfare agency, funding it with millions of dollars more than it had in the past.
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer on Thursday signed into law two bills that created and funded a new child welfare agency, now known as the Department of Child Safety.
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