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Disturbing Trends in Latest CPS/DCS Report

az census cps mapAlarming statistics from the most recent semi-annual report by Charles Flanagan, Director of the Department of Child Safety (DCS), indicate the trend by DCS to take an increasingly larger number of children into State custody.  The number of children removed from their homes has surged 58.7% in the last 3 1/2 years, and 6,461 children were removed between March and September of 2014!  This is the polar opposite of the national trends (see chart left), and indicative of a very serious epidemic of family destruction in Arizona. Almost 17,000, (16,990 to be exact) children were in state custody as of September 30, 2014, and one can only envision this number continuing to skyrocket as the trend continues.  Over 35 children a day – EVERY DAY – are taken from their parents and homes.  That is 1,077 children a month.

This number DOES NOT account for the thousands of other affected children and families over the past several years, where some were removed and returned, but all the more likely, adopted out to strangers after the parents’ rights were severed – permanently! There have been 42,158 “new removals” in the last four years.  Forty-two thousand one hundred fifty-eight children!  We are talking about the government taking our very children and severing parental rights … at an insidious and alarming rate. chart 1

The children in “out-of-home” care in Arizona as of September 30, 2014 increased by 7.86% over the previous six-month time period when CPS was abolished and dramatic changes were promised. That’s a 13.3% increase from a year earlier and an astonishing 58.68% increase from the end of March 2011, three and a half years earlier.  (In 2011 there were 3,978 children removed from their homes compared to 6,461 most recently – an incredible 62% increase in the number of children taken from their parents).

As indicated above, DCS now takes over 35 children a day from their parents and their homes, with the most recent count nearing 17,000 children currently separated from their parents and families … for birthdays, Thanksgiving, Christmas, all other holidays including the 4th of July, and every other important milestone that other families are able to enjoy, celebrate and appreciate.  This ever-increasing pattern of behavior is traumatizing children, bankrupting parents both emotionally and financially, and destroying generations of families, which are the very foundation of society.  Yet all the while, Arizona has a parental rights statute that is either deemed worthless, or DCS is breaking the law with reckless abandon.  Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 1-601 protects the fundamental right of parents to direct the upbringing of their children, and prohibits government departments from infringing on those rights.

Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 1-601

A. The liberty of parents to direct the upbringing, education, health care and mental health of their children is a fundamental right.

B. This state, any political subdivision of this state or any other governmental entity shall not infringe on these rights without demonstrating that the compelling governmental interest as applied to the child involved is of the highest order, is narrowly tailored and is not otherwise served by a less restrictive means.

Meanwhile, how are these children fairing in state custody?  The recent lawsuit speaks volumes to how children, wrongfully taken from loving homes, are mistreated and ABUSED in state custody while the state turns a blind eye to the massive destruction of children and families.  Arizona foster kids’ treatment ‘shocks the conscience,’ lawsuit says :

Arizona’s treatment of foster children is so bad it actually puts children at risk of greater harm, according a federal class-action lawsuit filed today against the directors of the Arizona Department of Child Safety and the Department of Health Services.

They have asked the courts to declare the agencies’ actions unconstitutional and unlawful for violating children’s rights to be free from harm and their rights to family integrity.

Included in the lawsuit are examples of the kind of neglect and abuse suffered by thousands of children taken by the state: pre-adolescent children facing months-long delays in mental health treatments ordered by their doctors, steep declines in mental health while in custody, and suicidal children facing long delays for basic psychological evaluations and treatment. How many of these problems would be obliterated by keeping children in their homes, with their families, pets, friends, schools and services, while supplementing these services with oversight tailored to their specific issues? Moreover, how many of these mental health issues and suicidal tendencies are actually caused by DCS through their overzealous separating of families and the consequent trauma sustained by children at the hands of the very department intended to protect them?

According to the suit, a juvenile court called DCS’s failure to provide services for siblings in need of therapy “appalling.”  One child is said to have missed 60 days of first grade because DCS failed to ensure he had transportation to and from school after removing him from his home.  An 8-year-old was made to travel three hours each way in a transport van for a two-hour visit with his mother because DCS did not coordinate transportation for his mother, who shouldn’t be 3 hours away for visits in the first place.  In very many things, DCS does the same actions that would cause a parent to lose custody of their child, but DCS takes the child and condemns parents.  One boy in state custody was placed in a home with adults who used corporal punishment and who posted a YouTube video of the adult male using a Taser on a 15-year-old child living in the house. “While these facts were known to the state, it never investigated” the family, the suit said.  Sadly, and egregiously, DCS takes children from their natural parents for far, far less.Chart 4

Separate from this suit’s allegations of the abuse and misery being suffered by all those whose lives are effected by DCS, there are some very suspicious statistics in the most recent semi-annual report by Director Flanagan. The increase with which children are being taken from their homes and families, especially for such a subjective reporting category as “neglect”, is very disturbing. The increase in the proportion of reports that meet the vague criteria of neglect is likely to be indicative of fraud and corruption since neglect is so subjective and ill-defined.

While reports of emotional abuse, sexual abuse, and physical abuse have all stayed relatively flat over the past four years, reports of neglect have risen sharply from 10,960 to 18,022, or by 64.4%, eclipsing all other types of reports. The number of reports received for ‘neglect’ accounted for 72% of ALL reports, which means that emotional abuse, physical abuse, and sexual abuse reports combined account for only 28% of all cases. Emotional, physical and sexual abuse reports accounted for smaller, or the same percentages, of total reports received when compared to the prior six-month period, while neglect reports increased by 2256 reports, or 14.3%, and increased from 68% of total reports to 72% of total reports. In comparison, emotional abuse reports decreased by 21.76%, physical abuse by 2.78%, and sexual abuse, while increasing by 75 reports or 9.7%, still accounted for only 3.4% of all reports. (The latter remained relatively flat on a national basis, so again, Arizona’s numbers stand out from the country’s averages.)

This large percentage of reports, 72%, being categorized as ‘neglect’ is quite disconcerting as other reports of abuse, which are much more verifiable, are either decreasing or account for such a small percentage of the reports. Yet, more and more children are taken from families and more and more cases are resulting in the termination of parental rights.

Here we have shown the alarming rate of children in Arizona that are being taken from their parents by DCS, the dramatic increase in these numbers while the national averages are decreasing, and the neglect and abuse of these children while IN STATE CARE. Stay tuned while we bring you the frightening prospects of what becomes of these children as their own rights are ignored and their parents are not afforded the rights of a common criminal!

This is child abuse and the destruction of children and families on a grand scale through the complete and total violation of civil rights, state rights, and most obviously parental rights in a government sponsored assault on families.

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4 comments on “Disturbing Trends in Latest CPS/DCS Report

  1. Valarie Russo
    February 7, 2015

    Omg!!!!!!!

    Like

  2. N. Roberts
    April 8, 2015

    This article describes exactly the horror DCS is putting me and my 2 young children through currently. The case manager has based all her decisions to remove my children on lies from my ex husband (reported as an alcohol by the Courts 8 years ago & diagnosed by 2 psychiatrists, one court ordered the other private as having mood disorders and several other mental health diagnosis) yet his false accusations, along with the case workers false statements about me made in her reports had created a nightmare where my boys have been removed from our home, moved schools to another city 50 miles away from me, one way and I have been ordered no contact except 2 hours per week supervised with no good cause. This is ruining my families lives and my children’s futures with their Mother. This agency operates on opinion and lies from unskilled, unprofessional workers, who in our case have turned their unfounded investigation into nothing short of an old fashioned witch hunt. The Court, judges and supervisors of these case managers are blindly standing by, signing off on reports made filled with lies and inaccurate information while families like mine are destroyed along with my children’s childhood. I am in Arizona, any legal resources available would be appreciated or lawyers specializing in this type of agency abuse towards innocent, law abiding, loving parents. nailfxrnoel@yahoo.com

    Like

  3. Jennifer
    August 15, 2016

    DCS Corruption
    In October of 2015, my life turned into an extremely painful nightmare.  A DCS investigator took custody of my 3 month old baby.  She submitted false allegations to a juvenile court judge.  I’m a medical professional and my husband is a local attorney.  I have medical documents to disprove the discrepancies.  The painful experience has gone on for over 10 months due to staff turn over and other issues with the system.  I was involved in a major vehicular  accident on May 17th, which was not my fault.  There is current litigation.  I had to retain an attorney because my medical bills were high and I was unable to work at the time.  I suffered concussion with complication among other injuries.  I had short-term memory loss for some time, but was cleared by neurologist.  DCS took advantage of this.  I have hypertension, in the beginning my immune system was failing, due to stress, I had a miscarriage while my baby was gone, probably also due to stress.  When I reached out to the Ombudsman, it only made my 2nd case worker more upset with me.  I have communicated with the office of Kate McGee.  I don’t know what else to do.  Please help me.  I don’t think anyone who didn’t do wrong should have to go through this.  It’s also very painful because it appears my caseworker wants to give my baby over to the foster parents.  The foster parent said she would be willing to adopt.  Words cannot express how I feel. 

    Like

  4. Kimberly Brown
    October 7, 2016

    It took me over a year to finally gain full custody of my grand children. Because of significant incompetence of the first caseworker, I was accused of witholding information about myself. Specifically, the day after the girls were removed from their mothers custody I submitted copies of my drivers license, my fingerprint clearance card, and my medical marijuana identification card. None of these documents made it to the file. I repeatedly reported the incompetence of the caseworker to no svail. Finally the issue of the mmj card came up and I was accused in open court of trying to be deceptive regarding having the card and my use of mj as a medical alternative. I was not allowed to speak in my defense. I was later able to prove that I had providred this information as I had fortunately kept a copy of my email to the caseworker that included the documentation. By that time I had been orderef to submit to random drug testing, an embarrassing and humiliating process where a young woman had to watch me pee, legs spread, in front of her. I am Grama, I am an educated professional, I have worked in social services my whole life, and I was treated like a street tramp. I was told that although the law states that possession of the mmj card does not allow discrimination regarding child custody, I would have to be tested to make sure I was not using “too much”. When I asked for a copy of the statute, law, whatever…that states specifically how “too much” is described, I was told it did not exist, that it was a judgement call on the part of the caseworker. Really…..a judgement call?? …by the caseworker who never updated her files, by the caseworker who didn’t respond to calls, who didn’t follow through on anything……??? I did eventually gain custody of my girls….but realized the system that I had worked hand in hand with for 30 years was a travesty, with no check and balance system, and an apparent agenda of having an adversarial relationship with all the families it deals with. My girls were traumatized, and my husband and I were treated with disrespect.

    Like

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This entry was posted on February 6, 2015 by in Arizona, cps, Diegel Sisters and tagged , , .
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