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American Indian and Alaska Native children are about three times more likely than Caucasian children to be placed in out-of-home care.

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Arizona CPS News Archive

Arizona News Coverage

by Chris Roberts

Controversial devices used to track cell phones and mobile Internet devices were used by local federal law enforcement without the necessary permission from a judge.

Federal investigators in Arizona have been taken to court over the use of "stingrays," electronic devices that mimic a cellphone tower and collect location and other data from all mobile devices in the immediate area. Since they collect data indiscriminately, privacy advocates hate them -- and they're not beloved by magistrate judges, either, especially if they're used without a warrant.

April 4, 2013

Authorities say a 37-year-old Arizona man convicted of numerous child abuse charges will be spending the rest of his life in prison.

Job Anthony Sanchez of San Tan Valley was sentenced late last week in Pinal County Superior Court to five consecutive life sentences. He was convicted in January of 18 counts ranging from child molestation and sexual conduct to exploitation of a minor.

April 2, 2013

by Mary K. Reinhart

State lawmakers, who gathered Monday for the first unofficial meeting of a committee formed to oversee Child Protective Services, learned that the governor's budget request may not be enough to maintain services and caseloads at the beleaguered agency.

Jim Hillyard, deputy director for the Department of Economic Security, which oversees CPS, told the group of lawmakers and lobbyists that automatic federal budget cuts that took effect this month will trim nearly $3 million in child-care funding.

March 26, 2013

by Jason Howerton

Mexican lawmakers will ask the U.S. Senate to create a registry of all commercialized firearms in border states, which includes California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. Mexico says it will make it easier to trace guns used in violent attacks.

The measure was reportedly approved on January 9 by Mexico's Permanent Commission, a government entity that meets when Mexico's Senate and the Chamber of Deputies is in recess. Gun owners in Arizona are calling the proposal "foolish" and an "invasion of privacy."

February 18, 2013

A new bill that cleared an Arizona Senate committee on Wednesday would no longer require parents caring for foster kids to vaccinate their own children against certain illnesses.

Senate Bill 1108 was approved 5-2 by the Senate Health and Human Services Committee. The bill would allow families whose children are not fully immunized to still get licensed as foster families. The Arizona Department of Economic Security would retain the authority about where to place foster children, the Arizona Republic reports.

February 6, 2013

Arizona's social service agency bowed out of an $11.5 million federal grant program intended to help place older foster children in permanent homes. The grant was intended to accelerate permanent placement of foster children.

The program's research requirements hinder other efforts by Arizona to improve foster care, Department of Economic Security officials said. Those effects include preventing the reintroduction of a state program serving Maricopa and Pinal counties, and delaying deployment of new Child Protective Services caseworkers, officials said.

February 4, 2013

The Arizona Corporation Commission is reducing incentives provided by Tucson Electric Power Cop. for residential rooftop solar installations to generate electricity or heat water.

The commission also is eliminating Tucson Electric's incentives for commercial customers' renewable energy generation, according to the Arizona Daily Star.

February 1, 2013

PHOENIX - A group of parents barred from adopting or fostering kids in Arizona's child-welfare system because they won't vaccinate their own children are pushing for changes in state law.

Susann Van Tienderen and Gina Apilado claim the state violates its own rules by refusing to consider potential foster families whose biological children have medical exemptions from immunization rules. Both women's families want to adopt children from Arizona foster care.

December 30, 2012

An eastern Arizona boy who has spent nearly three years in residential treatment for killing his father's friend will be back in court Thursday because of probation violations, and the judge has said she would consider placing him in foster care.

The boy, who is just shy of his 13th birthday, pleaded guilty to negligent homicide in the 2008 shooting death of Tim Romans in St. Johns. Prosecutors agreed to drop a murder charge against him in the death of his father, 29-year-old Vincent Romero, because they believed that it would give him a better chance at a normal life.

December 20, 2012

by Damon W. Root

Hein Hettinga and his wife Ellen are Arizona-based dairy farmers currently fighting an uphill legal battle against a federal price-fixing scheme for milk that dates back to the New Deal.

As I explained in my recent column on their case, the Hettingas have asked the Supreme Court to decide whether the lower court that ruled against them erred by simply taking the federal government at its word when it said the milk regulation in question was rationally related to a legitimate government interest. The Hettingas are asking the High Court for the opportunity to present their own evidence to rebut the government's assertion and demonstrate that the price-fixing law is little more than a protectionist scheme designed to benefit special interests.

November 26, 2012

The Phoenix Sinclair Inquiry heard new testimony Monday, from a child welfare worker who said she had no concerns about Samantha Kematch and Steven Sinclair's ability to parent a child in 2001.

The inquiry is looking into the circumstances surrounding Phoenix Sinclair's life and death. Phoenix was in and out of foster care throughout her life before being killed at age five on the Fisher River Cree Nation, north of Winnipeg, in 2005. Phoenix's mother, Kematch, and stepfather, Karl McKay, were found guilty in 2008 of first-degree murder in her death.

November 19, 2012

Arizona Department of Economic Security/Division of Children, Youth and Families: The position will respond to and investigate cases which involve criminal conduct allegations of physical abuse or sexual abuse of Arizona's children.

The cases will most likely involve complex investigations into child fatality, sex crimes, cases involving serious physical injury to a child, and any other case designated high risk. Investigators will conduct training for child protective services staff related to the techniques and strategies necessary for performance of sensitive investigations into allegations of child abuse.

November 5, 2012

A CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) volunteer is needed for 10-year-old "Olivia," who has a long history of envisioning suicide and also making attempts.

Her mother, who also has a history of mental disorders, told Child Protective Services (CPS) that she is unable to care for her daughter any longer and refused to pick up Olivia from the emergency room after her most recent suicide attempt.

November 4, 2012

In June, the Arizona Department of Economic Security ("DES") discovered a glitch in the computer program that Child Protective Services ("CPS") uses to disclose records and information about pending cases and investigations.

Statistically, the scope of the glitch is staggering. According to one Arizona Republic report, DES sent out over 30,000 notices to attorneys, parents, law-enforcement, and media members. Those notices pertain to 11,336 separate records requests since August 2010, but the notices are not specific as to the nature of records which were erroneously withheld. DES officials estimate that about two-thirds of the requested records were erroneously withheld.

October 27, 2012

by Jack Stanton

I'm writing to hopefully offer some enlightenment to letter writer Mark Leathers, and perhaps quite a few other Arizona citizen-readers, about the sources of funding for many other road projects around the state .

Mr. Leathers argues and suggests that Arizona's Child Protective Services (CPS) agency, might better use these highway use-fuel tax revenues by allocation to CPS's annual budget - which must be done by the state Legislature. However, they are prohibited from doing so by Arizona State and Federal law(s)! (I am not arguing for or against allocating more tax-dollars for CPS purposes or the perceived need for such.)

October 27, 2012

by Michelle Cole

A 10-year-old girl is found dead in a footlocker in Arizona and police learn her family had been under investigation by child welfare authorities in Utah.

A teenager is murdered in Eugene, leaving a trail of questions from Sacramento to Salem about who failed to protect her. A baby spends its vital first year with a stranger in Alabama foster care while relatives in Oregon wait for word that they can raise the child.

October 27, 2012

On October 11, a husband and wife were arrested by Phoenix police after a yearlong investigation. Police say that the man abused seven of his 15 foster children over a six-year period, and that this wife did nothing to stop it.

According to the Arizona Republic, there are over 14,000 children in Arizona's foster care system. As a state, Arizona ranks 38th in the nation in child poverty and 39th in overall child well-being (statistics courtesy of the Arizona's Children Association).

October 17, 2012

A CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) volunteer is needed to serve as a "Baby CASA" for 1-year-old Nataly and her 2-year-old brother, Miguel.

The children were injured when the mother attempted to assault their father. At the emergency room, the mother reported that the children had fallen out of bed. Due to parents smelling of marijuana, the police were called, who found that the parents had a previous history of drug arrests.

October 15, 2012

by Mary K. Reinhart

Arizona's child-welfare agency is asking for 200 more employees to shore up a system overwhelmed by record numbers of abuse reports, foster children and backlogged cases -- a crisis exacerbated by persistently high worker turnover in the agency.

The Department of Economic Security's budget request for the coming fiscal year is the first public acknowledgment that the state's Child Protective Services is unable to keep pace with its growing caseload. The $49.5 million request is also significant because it comes with the tacit approval of Republican Gov. Jan Brewer, who uses departmental requests to form her budget proposal, to be released in January.

October 14, 2012

by The 1980s

Arizona can continue to increase financial resources for Child Protective Services, but we won't see improved outcomes until we improve the quality of CPS workers while increasing the quantity.

I have observed CPS since its inception. During 1970-71, while a student at the ASU School of Social Work, I had a field placement at a CPS predecessor, the Maricopa County Department of Public Welfare. I have observed CPS since its inception. During 1970-71, while a student at the ASU School of Social Work, I had a field placement at a CPS predecessor, the Maricopa County Department of Public Welfare.

October 14, 2012

by Jadiann Thompson

PHOENIX - A former foster parent is in jail on suspicion of numerous sex crimes against seven children under his care from 2005 to 2011.

Steven Joseph Holland, 52, was arrested Thursday at his Phoenix home near Happy Valley Road and 51st Avenue, culminating a 13-month investigation by Phoenix police that began when a 4-year-old boy told a daycare worker he had been molested by his foster parent, said Sgt. Steve Martos of the Phoenix Police Department.

October 13, 2012

by Fox 10 News - Staff Report

PHOENIX - A couple was arrested Thursday after a year long investigation into the alleged child abuse of their former foster children.

Police said 52-year-old Steven Holland is accused of molesting and sexual abusing foster children in his care. His wife 55-year-old Anna Holland is accused of child abuse for knowing what was happening and failing to report it.

October 13, 2012

Over recent weeks, more information has come to the fore about Arizona's troubled Child Protective Services agency and the real harm that many of our state's children are subjected to every day.

On a recent trip "down the hill," I again took note of the progress on our new interchange at I-17 and Highway 69. In checking ADOT's website, the state is spending nearly $51 million dollars on this nifty work which will "separate local and freeway traffic" when completed in 2013. I've been traveling over, under and through this interchange for 25 years and have never experienced delays or been inconvenienced regardless of the direction I was heading. I wonder how far some (or all) of the money devoted to this project could go toward assisting CPS and/or boosting our investment in our state's educational programs.

October 11, 2012

by Mary K. Reinhart

Arizona's child-welfare agency is asking for 200 more employees to shore up a system overwhelmed by record numbers of abuse reports, foster children and backlogged cases -- a crisis exacerbated by persistently high worker turnover in the agency.

In addition to seeking more caseworkers, supervisors and aides, CPS wants to reverse a troubling shortage of foster homes, and the resulting increase in children housed in group homes and crisis shelters, by paying more to families willing to accept older kids.

October 8, 2012

by Trevor Aaronson & John O'Connor & Kate Howard Perry

Student-teacher ratios at K12, the nation's largest online educator, are nearly twice as high as Florida's state-run virtual school.

A high school teacher working for K12 may have as many as 275 students, compared to Florida Virtual School, which has a maximum class size of 150. According to company documents, K12 provides better student-teacher ratios to schools that pay more per student, though even the best ratios are higher than the state-run competitor's. K12 has come under fire for high student-teacher ratios and poor student performance in Arizona, Georgia and Tennessee.

October 6, 2012

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