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Australia: Nationally, the number of children in out-of-home care rose each year from 1996 to 2004; for a total increase of 56% from 1996 to 2004.

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Arizona CPS News Archive

Arizona News Coverage

by Stephanie Russo

Last December, the Arizona Association for Foster and Adoptive Parents and the Boy Scouts of America Grand Canyon Council delivered 275 bikes to children in foster care. This year, they hope to donate 500 just in time for the holidays.

During this month, November and December, the association will collect gently used bicycles to refurbish and deliver to children in the foster system by Dec. 15 for the third annual Recycle Your Bicycle drive.

October 5, 2012

by Stephanie Russo

For the past four years, the Arizona's Children Association has partnered with Hickman's Family Farms for "PJs and Eggs, A Breakfast for Dinner Event" to collect pajamas for children in foster care.

This year, the event takes place at 5 p.m. Oct. 12 at 11 restaurants throughout Arizona. Families are asked to bring a new pair of pajamas to donate to kids in foster care, from newborns to 18-year-olds.

October 5, 2012

A federal judge has determined that parents were completely voluntary in opening up their home to social workers, Rhonda Cash and Jenna Cramer, along with multiple uniformed officers.

Apparently an anonymous tip was communicated to social services in 2005 in Arizona that the children of John and Tiffany Loudermilk were being neglected and the house was uninhabitable. However, the matter was so serious that these social workers took over two months to show up.

October 4, 2012

by Eric Betz

Flagstaff police have arrested a 23-year-old Flagstaff mother for punching her 5-year-old daughter in the face. A similar incident happened earlier in the month when a different mother allegedly punched her daughter in the face.

According to information from police, officers were called to the 200 block of East Cedar Avenue Monday, after neighbors reported hearing an adult yelling and a child crying, as well as "smacking sounds." Officers arrived but the mother had already left with her daughter, a police report stated.

September 20, 2012

by Mary K. Reinhart

Arizona's child-welfare agency has discovered a computer glitch that officials say kept public records from parents, lawyers and others for more than 15 years, a malfunction that could have led to children being wrongly removed.

The computer error affected thousands of families, and attorneys say it could prompt efforts to reopen civil and child-dependency cases. Officials with the state Department of Economic Security, which oversees Child Protective Services, were notifying the state's 15 presiding Juvenile Court judges of the glitch on Friday and sending notices to more than 30,000 people who received incomplete public records over the past two years.

September 15, 2012

by Mary K. Reinhart

Arizona's child-welfare agency has discovered a computer glitch that officials say kept public records from parents, lawyers and others for more than 15 years.

The malfunction could have led to children being wrongly removed and prevented caregivers from supporting civil claims against the state. The computer error affected thousands of families, and attorneys say it could prompt efforts to reopen civil and child-dependency cases. Officials with the state Department of Economic Security, which oversees Child Protective Services, were notifying the state's 15 presiding Juvenile Court judges of the glitch on Friday and sending notices to more than 30,000 people who received incomplete public records over the past two years. The state said it is unable to track or notify those who requested and received incomplete records before 2010.

September 14, 2012

MESA, Ariz. - A 2-year-old girl has died after police say she was found malnourished and dehydrated in a Mesa home in more than 100 degree temperatures.

According to authorities, Mesa police found the girl after the child's mother called 911 because the child was unconscious. Authorities say the children's mother may face charges depending on a report from the medical examiner.

August 29, 2012

by Mary K. Reinhart

Arizona foster-care numbers set record, The number of children in foster care has reached new a record, according to data from the state Department of Economic Security.

Thirty-five children under 4 years old were being housed in shelters, including 10 babies, and 41 children who are 6 years old or younger were living in group homes, according to the latest monthly report.

July 31, 2012

PHOENIX - More Arizona children are in foster care than ever before. The state Department of Economic Security says nearly 13,200 children have been living with relatives or placed in foster homes, group homes or shelters as of May 31.

That's an increase of 413 children in one month. The Arizona Republic reports that the latest figures also show the state's Child Protective Services is struggling with case backlogs.

July 31, 2012

by Zofia Rawner

Judges also to blame for child-welfare system woes, Zofia Rawner: Child Protective Services is not the only one to blame for the backlogged cases, abuse and deaths of Arizona's children.

They decide how and when children return to their families but are rarely blamed for problems because they rotate every two years into different court divisions. This makes it difficult for the public to track judges who return children to abusive parents or consistently fail to order proper services.

July 29, 2012

by Betty Ann Adam

A "child death review" launched after a drug addict with a long criminal record viciously assaulted a baby boy in a foster home where they both lived is almost finished, officials say.

The victim's mother hopes it will result in the closure of Onion Lake Child and Family Services, which was responsible for the child's protection. Davidson, 38, was sentenced Friday to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to manslaughter in the November 1, 2011, fatal beating at Paradise Hill, 160 kilometres northeast of Lloydminster.

July 25, 2012

by Linda Williams

The report card is in and Arizona gets a failing grade when it comes to the well being of kids in our state.

Arizona slipped 9 places to finish 46th on the Annie E. Casey Foundation's Kids Count Survey. Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, and Mississippi are also in the bottom 5. So why did Arizona rank so low? The annual Kids Count study says 68 percent of Arizona kids don't attend pre-school. It's why the state fell to 46th in well-being of children.

July 25, 2012

by Lisa Post

Joseph Seckman, a subject of a nationwide law enforcement search in September, 2011, appeared in Tyler County Circuit Court on Thursday, July 19.

Seckman and his wife, Jessica, were apprehended in Flagstaff, Ariz. in October following a routine traffic stop, and were extradited to Tyler County to face charges. The couple had fled the state while under investigation by Child Protective Services, taking Mrs. Seckman's daughter out of school and failing to inform the child's father of her whereabouts for over a month, in violation of a a custody agreement.

July 25, 2012

by Mary K. Reinhart

The crisis confronting Arizona's child-welfare system has worsened in the six months since a governor's task force formed in response to a series of brutal child deaths.

An unprecedented number of Arizona children, including infants and toddlers, live in group homes and shelters. And hundreds of reports have gone uninvestigated over the past year because no one has had time to respond. But amid the chaos of struggling families and an overwhelmed system are glimmers of hope.

July 16, 2012

by Mary K. Reinhart

Substance abuse is a common denominator in most child-abuse and neglect cases. Too often, parents with an addiction refuse treatment or relapse.

Their children go back and forth between home and foster care, as their parents try to get clean. Time runs out, and a judge ends their legal rights to parent their children. The program is free, regardless of income, and designed to begin within days of a child's removal from the home. In fiscal 2011, about one-fourth of children whose parents were involved with Families FIRST left foster care during the year, most of them to reunite with their parents.

July 16, 2012

by Mary K. Reinhart

Arizona CPS system brothers reunite after years apart.

Foster care isn't supposed to be a place to grow up. It's intended to be a temporary situation, until the state can safely return children to their parents or find somebody else for them to live with permanently - a grandparent, perhaps, or an adoptive home. When authorities remove children from their home, they try to keep siblings together and place them with other family members. But, as occurred with Jonas and Patrick, caseworkers are often too overwhelmed to search long for the right situation.

July 15, 2012

by Lindsey Erdody

Helen's Hope Chest's website indicates that after the state made budget cuts in 2009, the amount of money the state allocates to each foster child for clothing dropped to about $12 per month.

According to the Family Foster Home Care Rates and Fees Schedule, the clothing allowance for children through 5 years old is 53 cents per day, or $15.90 per 30-day month. For children ages 6 to 11, the allowance is 79 cents per day, or $23.70 per month. It's $1.02 per day, or $30.60 per month, for ages 12 and older. These basic clothing rates went into effect March 1, 2009. The rates have remained the same since 2009, according to the fee schedule.

July 13, 2012

by Laurie Roberts

She came into the state system on the day she was born, taken from her mother so that she would be protected. For the next year, she would thrive under the care of her foster family and then she would go home.

The right of a parent to screw up trumps the right of a child to grow up. So we entrusted the tot to a mother who was supposed to love her and a state child-welfare system that was supposed to look out for her. Ten months after Za'Naya Flores was sent home, she died of starvation. Now her Child Protective Services caseworker has been fired but not without first taking a parting shot - one that must be heard. The state, wrote Donald Hauser, "has placed the children and the workers in a no-win situation."

July 8, 2012

by Jon Johnson

Child Protective Services responded to two separate incidents of child neglect in Safford last week and temporarily relieved the mothers of their parenting responsibilities.

At about 12:51 p.m. on June 28, a University of Arizona Police sergeant called for a Safford officer to meet him at the Firing Pin Gun & Pawn at 620 S. Sixth Ave. regarding two children left inside a car. The sergeant said he was leaving Ace Hardware when a passerby flagged him down and alerted him to the situation.

July 4, 2012

by Heather Moore

Phoenix police said a 1-year-old boy and his father who allegedly kidnapped him have been found safe, but the reunion with the boy's mother was short-lived. He is now in the custody of Child Protective Services.

Sgt. Tommy Thompson of the Phoenix Police Department on Wednesday morning said police were looking for Christopher Verland Ayers after he went missing with Christopher Ayers Jr. about 4:15 p.m. Tuesday.

June 29, 2012

by Christine Lacroix

Leaders at Child Protective Services are struggling to fill open jobs for caseworkers because the hours are long and the work is emotionally draining.

The department currently has 785 employees, after a number of case workers resigned in the past few months. There are currently around 30 job openings, and the department loses an average of nearly 30% of its work force each year, which is higher than the national average for similar offices.

June 16, 2012

by Laurie Roberts

CPS, don't walk away too soon this time, The caller wanted to know if Arizona's latest mother of the moment will be getting her baby back.

Sadly, I can tell her no such thing about the infant, found earlier this month in the middle of the street in the middle of the night. Two-month-old Manuel will be going home. Both federal and state law requires CPS to make all reasonable attempts to reunify children with their parents except in extreme cases of abuse or neglect.

June 11, 2012

Police say a woman who was arrested after her 5-week-old son was found in a car seat in the middle of a Phoenix intersection has been released from jail.

The Maricopa County Sheriff's office said 19-year-old Catalina Clouser was released from jail early Sunday morning. Phoenix police Officer James Holmes said officers responded to a call of a baby strapped into a car seat lying in the middle of the road around 1:00 a.m Saturday.

June 4, 2012

PHOENIX - A recent increase in the number of foster children in Arizona has put mounting pressure on juvenile courts and made it more difficult to quickly resolve such cases.

The Arizona Republic reports that the flood of cases is without a corresponding rise in child-welfare staff and has lengthened the time children spend in foster care, led to waiting lists for court-ordered services aimed at helping families and added to caseloads for attorneys representing the state, parents and children.

May 28, 2012

by Sean Holstege

Between 20 and 30 children typically die every year in child-abuse homicides in Arizona.

Almost all die at the hands of parents, caregivers or guardians, statistics kept by the state's Child Protective Services show. Sometimes the families are known to caseworkers. Some children die in obscurity. Some are never mourned. Many come from families shattered by violence, poverty, drugs or mental illness. The causes and circumstances vary, but the results are always tragic.

May 27, 2012

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