Thursday, February 16, 2012

Hobbs’ bill to make CPS more efficient passes committee

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – A bill sponsored by Rep. Katie Hobbs, D-Phoenix (District 15), that will help make Child Protective Services more efficient passed committee Wednesday.

HB 2794 would eliminate the need for the Department of Economic Security to establish “review teams” to determine whether a child is in need of removal from the custody of their parents, guardian or custodian due to abuse or neglect.

“This bill helps CPS be more efficient by cutting out a duplicative step of the process to determine if a child needs help by being removed from a person’s custody,” Hobbs said. “This is one less step of red tape so that we can protect the children of Arizona.”

The bill addresses the added step of going through a “removal review team” that has been in place since 1990. A juvenile court hearing called the Preliminary Protective Hearing, which was put in place in 1998, removes the need for the review team, but it was left untouched. CPS caseloads are already 50 percent over the recommended limit and this step causes more delay in providing services or keeping kids safe.

“Removal review teams make it harder for children to be taken out of abusive and neglectful environments,” Hobbs said. “With the removal of these teams, children will be better able to get out of an unhealthy environment and move into a more welcoming and safe home.”


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