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Arizona CPS News Archive
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Seven children in protective custody in Santa Cruz County child-sex case with neurosurgeon, nurses
The relationship between former Santa Cruz neurosurgeon James Kohut, and nurses Emily Stephens and Rashel Brandon is becoming clear: the trio allegedly worked together to force children into sexual acts, such as sodomy, oral copulation and intercourse.
On May 9, a Watsonville resident gave police a video, shot in March, of the two nurses having sex with children as young as 3 years old in a Scotts Valley motel. The evidence triggered allegations that Kohut also had forced girls and boys to have sex with him multiple times since Jan. 1, 2016, according to court documents.
May 22, 2017
Want to own a restaurant for $125? Enter SV essay contest
Contest costs $125 to enter and the winner walks away with popular Sierra Vista restaurant. The Bains are holding an essay contest. The prize: Their restaurant, The Outside Inn.
The writer of the winning essay gets the 2,000-square-foot restaurant, the land it sits on, the kitchen equipment, the dining room furniture, pictures on the walls, silverware, plates and cups and any food left in the pantries, freezers and refrigerators. The cost: $125 per entry, and the couple is limiting the entries to no more than 7,500.
November 15, 2016
Kristi's Kids: DCS backlog continues to decrease
We have new numbers from the Arizona Department of Child Safety indicating some real progress. Kristi's kids has been a very active player in getting child welfare reform for local kids. Now, it seems, things might actually be improving.
The latest Department of Child Safety figures show the lowest number of open, inactive cases since January, 2010. The figure is now fewer than 5,500. That is a dramatic decrease from the peak more than 16,000 in February, 2015. State Senator Steve Farley, an outspoken critic of D.C.S., tells Kristi's Kids, these numbers are looking pretty good.
October 23, 2016
4 children found sleeping in locked car in Phoenix
Four children, all under 10 years old, were found sleeping in a locked car Friday morning near 17th and Dunlap avenues.
According to Phoenix police, the children's father was located nearby in a friend's apartment. The father, who is homeless, told police the children were asleep when he arrived at that location late in the night and he didn't want to wake them all up to move them inside. None of the children were injured or transported. The Arizona Department of Child Safety was notified of the incident.
October 16, 2016
Critics say Arizona is cheaping out on child-welfare services
Social-service providers are warning that children could linger longer in foster care if the state of Arizona follows through with a new round of contracts they say will cut rates, lower standards and deter qualified applicants.
The complaints arise as the state is on the verge of awarding new contracts for services the Department of Child Safety insists will get kids out of foster care and into permanent homes more quickly, without increasing costs to the state. The complaints are also bringing to the forefront criticisms usually made in quieter tones about Gov. Doug Ducey's intent to shrink state government and run it "at the speed of business."
September 19, 2016
AZ Supreme Court looks at no bail law for some sex crimes
Prosecutors are asking the Arizona Supreme Court to reinstate a law that allows some people accused of the sexual abuse of minors to be held without bail.
Deputy Maricopa County Attorney David Cole said the constitutional provision limiting access to bail was adopted by voters in 2002. He said the state Court of Appeals, in overturning the law enacted by lawmakers to implement that amendment, failed to give "due consideration to the overwhelming will of the people."
September 17, 2016
Manufacturer of addictive prescription drugs donates $500,000 to fight cannabis legalization
The campaign to prevent cannabis legalization in Arizona recently accepted a half-million dollar donation from a pharmaceutical company accused of peddling a dangerous narcotic painkiller off-label.
Drug company Insys made the donation to Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy on Aug. 31, according to information posted by the Arizona Secretary of State. The revelation has lent support to longstanding claims by legalization proponents that drug companies view cannabis as a source of competition for their more addictive, dangerous and expensive products.
September 14, 2016
DES child care program to serve more low-income families
The Arizona Department of Economic Security says it has good news for many low-income families looking to receive child care for their children. The DES Child Care Administration has released nearly 4,400 children.
Child care assistance is now available to an additional 4,385 that were the highest priority on the wait list. All 2,298 released families will receive a notice in the mail informing them of this change in status.
August 7, 2016
Soldier, former foster parent arrested for child sex crimes
Two local men, one a soldier stationed on Fort Huachuca and the other a former foster parent, have been taken into custody following an investigation into alleged sexual activity with children.
The arrests of Spec. Randall Bischak, 25, and David Frodsham, 59, come after a months-long investigation by Homeland Security Investigations and other U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement personnel into the transferring of child pornography using cellphone applications.
April 27, 2016
Obama's gun wishes gruffly received by AZ Senate panel
The latest executive action on guns taken by President Obama is not enforceable in Arizona, a Senate panel declared Tuesday.
The Senate Committee on Federalism, Mandates and Fiscal Responsibility vote also bars public employees from enforcing, administering or cooperating with such presidential actions.
February 16, 2016
5 ex-CPS workers to appeal dismissal of wrongful firing suit
Five former Arizona child welfare workers who were fired last year amid an agency scandal plan to appeal a judge's dismissal of their wrongful termination lawsuit.
Phoenix attorney Terry Woods said Monday he believes Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Robert Oberbillig made an incorrect legal decision when he approved a request from the state to throw out their lawsuit. The state's child welfare agency was rocked by the November 2013 discovery that thousands of hotline calls were labeled as not worthy of being investigated.
July 7, 2015
Analysis: Arizona child welfare agency still needs changes
A new analysis shows Arizona's overhauled child-welfare agency still needs major changes if it is to deal with rising caseloads, a growing number of children in out-of-home care and mistrust among community partners and the children it helps.
The report by the University of Chicago's Chapin Hall Center for Children released Tuesday contains a host of recommendations. The study was required by a 2014 law that created the new Department of Child Safety as a stand-alone agency.
July 2, 2015
Arizona CPS Takes 7 Children Away from Parents after Accident
The unthinkable happened to a family in Arizona. Their three-year-old daughter mysteriously collapsed while her parents were away from home, and she died shortly after.
As horrible as that tragedy was, Khloe's death was only the beginning of the devastation to the Shoars family. Child Protective Services immediately came in and took away all seven of their other children, placing them in various foster home settings around the area.
January 20, 2015
Team reviewing 6,600 ignored Arizona child abuse and neglect reports says all but 102 closed
PHOENIX - A team reviewing nearly 6,600 child abuse and neglect reports that weren't investigated by Arizona child welfare officials say they've now closed all but 102 of those cases.
The so-called CARE team named on Dec. 2 by Gov. Jan Brewer provided the latest update Tuesday. The team says investigators have seen 12,854 children identified in the reports. All cases have had a response. Child welfare workers probing the ignored reports removed 251 children from their homes. Another 316 children identified in the reports had been removed because of another case.
June 12, 2014
Feds say no end in sight for policy of 'dumping' illegal immigrants in Arizona, Gov. Brewer says
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer said Friday she is "disturbed and outraged" after she was informed by federal officials that not only has the government been shipping illegal immigrants out of Texas and "dumping" them in her state, it has no plans to stop.
Federal officials told Brewer Friday that the practice will continue for the foreseeable future, and this weekend more than 1,000 illegal immigrant children will be "dumped" in Arizona. Adults and family units will also arrive, though Brewer was not told how many, her office said.
June 7, 2014
Arizona man accused of child abuse after throwing toddler into pool
A man has been arrested for child abuse after he allegedly threw a toddler into a pool and then dropped her back into the pool after she was pulled out of the water by the father's girlfriend.
According to court documents, officers responded to a child abuse call and talked with Samantha. She showed officers video of McCarthy throwing the 1-year-old child several feet into a swimming pool late last month.
June 6, 2014
Lawmakers set Arizona child welfare overhaul vote
Gov. Jan Brewer has signed into law legislation that overhauls that state's child welfare agency just months after revelations that thousands of abuse and neglect reports had gone uninvestigated.
At a special session, the House and Senate approved the bill and funding, and the Governor signed the bill. Governor Jan Brewer called the legislation she signed Thursday the most significant and meaningful child safety reform in Arizona's history undoing decades of damage done through child protective services. She also named Charles Flanagan the director of the new stand alone agency.
May 31, 2014
Arizona Senate panel OKs $60M in child agency cash
The Arizona Senate has given initial approval to Gov. Jan Brewer's plan to overhaul the state's child welfare agency and deal with a massive backlog of cases.
The Senate even added money Brewer didn't initially want during Wednesday's session. Senators added $3 million in prevention services on top of the $60 million she requested.
May 28, 2014
Arizona father allegedly told 11-year-old son to beat brother
GLENDALE, Ariz. - A 34-year-old Glendale man is facing charges after police said he ordered his 11-year-old son to beat his 7-old-year brother.
According to court papers, the victim's older brother told police that he was regularly directed to physically discipline his brother. Court papers say the older brother also told investigators he was ordered to "punch and slap" his younger brother while the victim was held down by his father.
May 16, 2014
Child Welfare Agency Already Improving
The state's reformed child welfare agency has taken care of thousands of un-investigated abuse and neglect cases, planned for a new training program for employees, and seen significant improvements in its call response technology.
Earlier this year, Gov. Jan Brewer abolished Arizona's Child Protective Services, replacing it with a cabinet-level position reporting directly to her. The governor turned to Flanagan, former director of the Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections, to head such agency.
May 16, 2014
Police: CPS worker tried to buy drugs from client
A Child Protective Services worker was arrested Thursday after allegedly trying to buy drugs from a client, according to the Phoenix Police Department.
The department's drug enforcement bureau reportedly received a tip Thursday that the caseworker, 35-year-old Leyla Sadikovic, was soliciting a client for narcotics.
February 21, 2014
CPS shake-up long overdue
More than 10 years ago, former state Rep. Trish Groe called for review and overhaul of the state's Child Protective Services. Her request went unanswered.
This week, Gov. Jan Brewer called for the termination of CPS, to be replaced by a new state agency to report directly to the governor's office. Thankfully, Brewer has the political muscle to make this happen, but we have to wonder about all the children impacted over the past decade - how many of them are now in the Arizona State Prison system, or in county jails, because our elected leaders didn't have the strength of character to do something without being directed by a lobbyist.
January 24, 2014
385 kids removed from Ariz. homes in ignored cases
Nearly 400 children have been removed from Arizona homes identified through thousands of child abuse and neglect reports that were ignored in recent years.
The findings are from a team reviewing more than 6,500 reports that the state's Child Protective Services agency failed to investigate over the past four years. They show just how badly the state's child welfare authorities botched their reviews of incoming calls to an abuse hotline.
January 19, 2014
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signs order abolishing state's CPS agency
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer announced Monday that she has abolished the state's Child Protective Services department and has replaced it with a new division.
The move comes in response to an internal investigation that revealed 6,000 reports of child abuse or neglect were never investigated. The Republican governor said she was ending the agency's oversight by the Department of Economic Security by executive order, saying the recent scandal "broke my heart and makes me angry." "Enough with the uninvestigated reports of abuse and neglect. Enough with the lack of transparency. And enough with the excuses," she said. Brewer praised a special team she created to investigate the problems and said more than 3,000 children have now been seen by social workers or police.
January 14, 2014
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June 24, 2012
Family Rights Training Coming To Arizona
Arizona Family Rights Advocacy Institute is sponsoring Suzanne Shell's Family Rights Seminar in Arizona for the public and a C.L.E. legal professionals seminar.
June 24, 2012
Infant Hospitalized While In Foster Care
Baby A.L., a lively five-month-old baby living in foster care, has sustained a severe head trauma while in the temporary custody of DES.
June 24, 2012
Jacked Up: Congressional Hearing Needed
Mesa, Arizona -- A 6-year-old little boy was taken from his home by CPS caseworkers, while he was being watched and supervised by his grandfather, a retired LTC USA. His mother had raised him for 6-years, alone as a single mother. False allegations were made to Child Protective Services, by his unwed, absentee, father so, CPS classified it as a dependency case, now the child has became a ward of the state.
May 15, 2010