Campbell says internal CPS memo highlights Carter’s inability to lead CPS
STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – House Minority Leader Chad Campbell, D-Phoenix (District 24), again called for Department of Economic Security Director Clarence Carter to resign today, after a news report confirmed that Gov. Jan Brewer received a memo explaining that Child Protective Services’ practice of labeling claims of child abuse and neglect “not investigated” was adopted specifically to reduce the workload of overburdened agency employees.
“The memo referenced in recent news coverage reveals truly disturbing details about the more than 6,500 reports that CPS ignored under Director Carter’s leadership,” Campbell said. “Apparently, some of these reports involved three or more prior complaints, prior court orders and cases that were previously labeled ‘NI.’ The memo came from Phoenix Police Detective Gregory McKay, who makes it obvious that this practice was adopted to deal with the agency’s lack of resources.”
Campbell said he finds it alarming that Director Carter did not ask for the resources the agency needed to fulfill its statutory obligation to investigate all reports of child abuse and neglect.
“Director Carter had two opportunities last session to let us know what resources the agency realistically needed to be effective at keeping Arizona children safe. We provided an emergency appropriation at the beginning of the year so he could hire 50 full-time employees to help handle the caseloads. Also during the regular budget process, the Legislature provided funding for an additional 150 full-time employees,” Campbell said. “We did this because Director Carter told us that is what he needed to get the job done right. We know now that he was wrong. Either he was unaware of the growing crisis or he was unwilling to provide an accurate assessment of the trouble the agency was in. Either way, he has demonstrated that he lacks the ability and the credibility to run the agency. He should resign immediately.”