Parents, grandparents, students aren’t fooled by the new state budget – Guest Opinion

| March 16, 2015

— Dana Wolfe Naimark is president and CEO of Children’s Action Alliance, Read more: http://azcapitoltimes.com

Earlier this legislative session, many state lawmakers grilled Charles Flanagan – who was then director of the Department of Child Safety – about why reports of child neglect are still going up. They pointed fingers, made speeches and issued statements about how important it is to protect child safety and reduce child abuse and neglect.

Then last week, 32 lawmakers in the House and 16 in the Senate voted yes on a state budget promoted by Governor Doug Ducey that is guaranteed to drive up child neglect.

Their budget does nothing to prevent child abuse and neglect. Instead, it puts more children in danger. It cuts safe and affordable child care, leaving children in dangerous and unstable situations when their parents go to work. It cuts cash assistance for the poorest mothers and children, leaving children vulnerable to hunger, homelessness and crisis. It cuts payments to health care providers, limiting access to acute care and behavioral health. It cuts school and community strategies to prevent mental health crises. It sweeps funds for housing assistance and treatment for children, stealing security from Arizona families.

These facts contradict Governor Ducey’s sound bites about protecting child safety. The budget signed Thursday by the governor leaves out $9 million for child safety caseload growth that was in Governor Ducey’s original budget and removes $11 million for the child safety case backlog – even though the backlog is now higher than ever.

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Full Article HERE

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Category: Child Welfare, Education, Resources

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