Governor Brewer Calls a Special Session for CPS

| May 26, 2014

“It has fallen to us, in our time, to undo damage that was a long time in the making, and to begin the hard but necessary task of building a better future for ourselves and our children.”

These words, delivered by President Reagan in 1983, are relevant now more than ever for Arizona, as we stand ready to reform our child safety system during a special legislative session this week.

OUR [] VIEW: This could be momentous reform

For decades, Arizona’s child safety system has been beleaguered by a lack of transparency and accountability, a backlog of cases, a shortage of resources and a skewed focus.

As a result, Arizona is in the midst of a crisis — exceeding other states in child abuse reports, removals from homes and foster-care population.

Not for long.

The landmark legislation being introduced Tuesday creates the new, separate and permanent Department of Child Safety, whose sole focus is the safety of Arizona children. It mandates transparency and accountability while instituting safeguards and oversight measures to ensure the department is operating properly and living up to its core mission.

Equally important, it provides the necessary resources to finally attack the backlog head-on. Once this immediate crisis is corrected, it is incumbent upon future state lawmakers to appropriately redirect resources toward early intervention and prevention. The legislation and my budget plan provide the blueprint to make that happen.


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