Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Senate committee unanimously passes Hobbs bill to make CPS more efficient

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Today the Senate Public Safety and Health Services Committee unanimously passed a bill Rep. Katie Hobbs, D-Phoenix (District 15), introduced that will help make Child Protective Services more efficient.

HB 2794 would eliminate the need for the Department of Economic Security to establish “review teams” to determine whether a child should be removed from a home because of abuse or neglect. It passed the Senate committee with a 4-0 vote.

“This bill helps CPS be more efficient by cutting out a duplicative step of the process to determine if a child needs to be removed from a person’s custody,” Hobbs said.

Since 1998, juvenile courts have held preliminary protective hearings in cases involving the removal of children from abusive situations. This hearing eliminates the need for the review team. CPS caseloads are already 50 percent over the recommended limit and this step causes more delays in providing services and keeping children safe.

“Review teams make it harder for children to be taken out of abusive and neglectful environments,” Hobbs said. “Eliminating review teams will improve the process for getting children out of unhealthy environments and into safe homes.”

The bill will now go to the full Senate for a vote.

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