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.”