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Arizona Governor Announces End of CPS

January 17
00:21 2014

Charles Flanagan

At Monday’s State of the State Address, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer announced the end of the state’s troubled Child Protective Services (CPS). The child welfare agency was terminated by executive order after an investigation revealed over 6000 reports of child abuse or neglect were ignored.

New Agency, New Director

CPS has been replaced with the Child Safety and Family Services agency, an independent department within the Department of Economic Security. The new division will be directed by Charles Flanagan, currently in charge of the Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections. Flanagan reports directly to the governor in his new Cabinet-level post.

Flanagan led the Governor’s Child Advocate Response Examination (CARE) team that looked into the 6,500 ignored child abuse and neglect cases earlier this year. Brewer praised the team and said more than 3,000 children have now been seen by social workers or police. More on that investigation can be found here.

“We need to go even further. The time has come to statutorily establish a separate agency that focuses exclusively on the safety and well-being of children and helping families in distress without jeopardizing child safety. I call on the Legislature to work with me to codify a new permanent agency. Child safety must be the priority and become embedded in the fabric of this new agency. It is our legal and moral duty.”
–Governor Jan Brewer

CPS in Page

In Page, the CPS office is located in the Department of Economic Security building on Vista. The spokesperson for CPS was unavailable for comment, so questions about the future of the local division went unanswered.

Captain Ray Varner of the Page Police Department says that sometimes the police refer to CPS during the course of an investigation and sometimes CPS refers to the police for possible criminal investigation when they are working a case.

The Facts about Child Abuse

According to CUDDLE Outreach, a local non-profit promoting child abuse awareness, in the United States:

  •  It is estimated that 3 million children were victims of physical abuse by their parents, or about 44 per 1,000 children
  • It is estimated that between 2,000 and 5,000 children die each year due to physical abuse or neglect…that is one child every four hours
  • The average age of child fatalities is 2 ½ years
  • An abused child returned to parents without intervention has a 35% chance of being seriously re-injured
  • One child in five will be sexually abused by the age of 18
  • 80-90% of sex offenders are known to the child or adolescent victim
  • Current estimates indicate that between 50% and 80% of families involved with Child Protective Services are dealing with a substance-abuse problem

To report child abuse, call the Child Abuse Hotline at 888-767-2445.

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