Legislature approves emergency funding for child safety caseworkers
STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Senate and House Democratic leaders released the following statements on the Legislature’s passage of supplemental appropriations to fund additional child safety positions:
“Funding these additional caseworkers is a crucial step in the effort to reform our troubled CPS system, but it is only a step. We still have much work to repair the systemic failures that allowed thousands of vulnerable children to fall through the cracks,” said Sen. Tovar.
“We must also focus on preventative services that help keep children safe and healthy in their homes. Waiting to respond until a crisis occurs, whether for a family or for a state agency, is too late. The best way to protect Arizona’s children is to keep them from harm’s way in the first place.”
“Providing funding for additional Child Protective Services caseworkers was the right thing to do today but it cannot be the only thing we do. This agency needs reforms that ensure accountability and that provide caseworkers with the resources they need to do their jobs effectively. We can’t keep propping up CPS with one emergency funding bill after another,” said Rep. Campbell.
“Instead, we should take a realistic look at what resources the agency needs to keep Arizona kids safe. Additionally, we must begin funding preventative and support services, including child care subsidies for working families. If we do not provide adequate money for these services, we will continue to see increases in cases of abuse and neglect. Without funding for these vital services, any efforts to reform CPS will fall flat. We have an opportunity to make lasting changes that will benefit our most vulnerable children. Let’s do it right this time.”