Arizona Republic series investigates how budget cuts have harmed CPS and families it serves

The horrible impact budget cuts have had on CPS workers and the families they serve was front page news on Sunday, when The Arizona Republic began a yearlong series, “Saving Arizona’s Children.”

Here’s an excerpt from the story by Mary K. Reinhart:

“Child Protective Services struggled to cope with caseloads even before the economy took a dive, but budget cuts made the situation worse as the need for services grew.

DES laid off more than 700 employees — including 159 CPS workers — after the state’s human-services agency took large cuts in February 2009.

The agency also reduced or eliminated funding for domestic-violence shelters, emergency rent and utility payments, food banks, substance-abuse treatment, job training, parenting programs and interventions to prevent family homelessness.

By January 2010, more budget cuts created an ever-growing waiting list for child-care subsidies, reduced cash assistance to families with children and made Arizona the only state to cap enrollment in its children’s health-insurance program, KidsCare.

Brewer used $26 million in federal stimulus funds to restore 2009 program cuts for families already in the system and rehire all of the CPS workers. But longtime child-welfare administrators say the damage had been done because they couldn’t recover the workforce and waiting lists for services already had piled up.”

To read the full story, click here.

And read “Child Protective Services: A System in Trouble.”

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