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CAI Holds Congressional Briefing to Unveil New Report:

Shame on U.S.
Failings by All Three Branches of Our Federal Government Leave
Abused and Neglected Children Vulnerable to Further Harm
January 27, 2015

The federal government's dereliction allows states to fall short on meeting minimum child welfare standards. Below is information specific to Arizona.

CFSR Results Summary: In its Child and Family Services Review (CFSR) process, HHS determines whether each state is in substantial conformity with 7 specific outcomes (pertaining to the areas of safety, permanency and family and child well-being) and 7 systemic factors (relating to the quality of services delivered to children and families and the outcomes they experience).  In the first two rounds of the CFSR, HHS has concluded that Arizona was:

Round 1 (2002)

  • NOT in substantial conformity with 5 of the 7 Outcomes
  • NOT in substantial conformity with 2 of the 7 Systemic Factors

Round 2 (2008)   

  • NOT in substantial conformity with 7 of the 7 Outcomes
  • NOT in substantial conformity with 2 of the 7 Systemic Factors

Although federal law mandates that any state found not to be operating in substantial conformity during an initial or subsequent review must begin a full review within two years after approval of the state's program improvement plan, HHS has announced that Arizona will not undergo Round 3 of the CFSR until FY 2015 (see CFSR Technical Bulletin #7 (March 2014)).

Documents from the U.S. Health & Human Services Children's Bureau

Child Welfare In the News*

  • Angel's story and how the state handed over a little boy to die ( - December 09, 2014) Now his foster parents - the ones who cared for him for most of his life -- want answers. And they want to plug the holes that allowed Angel Rodriguez to silently slip through the safety net into a far-too-early grave.
  • Harsh reality: More children die, money runs short (Opinion) (AZ Central - November 21, 2014) Our View: An annual report presents sobering facts, but how can a cash-strapped state confront needs?
  • Insider: New DCS agency is falling back to old CPS ways (KPHO - November 20, 2014) "We started with 20 investigators here in Phoenix and five in Tucson and out of the original investigators, I would say we probably have a handful. No more than 10," said the former insider. CBS 5 Investigates spoke with four other investigators who said they felt like they were thrown into the field with little or no training and all left the agency in the past year because they said children were being left in situations where they should have been removed.
  • Child maltreatment deaths in Arizona rose in 2013 (Associated Press - November 16, 2014) The number of Arizona children who died from maltreatment rose in the last year, according to an annual statewide report on childhood fatalities that was released Friday.
  • Child abuse reports: Behind the numbers (Tucson News Now - November 03, 2014) Arizona has a record high:16,000 children in and out of home care, including foster care. On top of that, there is a shortage of foster families. Things are changing slowly, but as community providers such as Casa de los Ninos have seen, after years of neglect it will take time to turn around Arizona's system that protects children.
  • When safe homes become dangerous (Editorial) (Arizona Republic - October 27, 2014) This reform could succeed, but only if it ditches the old child-welfare system's routine shirking of legally mandated visits to all children in state custody and foster homes. The agency regularly documented this failure in semi-annual reports that were largely ignored.

*news summaries taken from daily newsfeed service of HHS' Child Welfare Information Gateway


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Children's Advocacy Institute
University of San Diego School of Law
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