Child Abuse OK in AZ????

Botched child abuse cases to be reviewed by next week

Phoenix, AZ(AP) — An Arizona government official says his department will review more than 6,000 unexamined reports of child abuse and neglect by Dec. 2.

The director of the Department of Economic Security, Clarence Carter, also said in a plan submitted Monday night that all reports forwarded to case workers will be investigated by Jan. 31. Carter sent the plan to members of the Legislature’s Child Protective Services oversight committee. Carter revealed the problems with the botched cases last week and was grilled by members of the oversight committee on Thursday. He told the committee he would deliver the plan by “the close of business” Monday.

Child advocates have said that the debacle in Arizona reflects a common problem nationwide as child protective agencies are burdened with high case loads, lack of funding and dismal resources that force social workers to prioritize calls based on the most egregious reports.

Still, the reports need an initial review to determine whether they are worthy of investigation, said Michael Petit, president of the advocacy group Every Child Matters and former commissioner of Maine’s Human Services Department, which oversees child protective services. “They can’t just park them and say we’re really busy and put them aside,” Petit said Monday.

Carter has identified a number of Child Protective Services staffers who will be assigned to investigate the cases, department spokeswoman Tasya Peterson said earlier Monday. An exact number of staffers hasn’t been determined, but Gov. Jan Brewer has approved using overtime for the urgent job. Brewer added 200 new CPS positions in her budget this year to help the agency deal with skyrocketing case loads.

So far, authorities re-examining the cases have identified at least 125 in which children were later alleged to have been abused. No deaths have been connected to the lapses. Meanwhile, state police are reviewing how the mistakes occurred. A captain, sergeant and four detectives will have their caseloads reassigned and focus only on the CPS investigation. The investigation is designed to determine who authorized the cases to be designated as “not investigated” and to review the department’s policies. It is administrative in nature, and any findings of potential criminal actions would be handled by another team or agency, Department of Public Safety spokesman Bart Graves said.

State law requires that reports phoned into a child abuse hotline be investigated. Yet beginning in November 2009, some cases were closed before being sent to a field office for investigation by a team of specialists trying to clear a backlog, Graves said. The practice was suspended, briefly renewed the next year, and suspended again. However, beginning about 20 months ago, a new team designed to help the agency overcome an ongoing backlog revived the practice. More than 5,000 of the 6,000 cases that were not investigated happened since that time.

Law enforcement agents assigned to the agency’s child welfare investigations unit discovered the closed cases in recent weeks. Carter has said cases were pulled before they reached field investigators based on a review by a special team whose goal was to focus field investigators on the most serious cases.

Petit suggested the agency just had too many cases to handle. “When you’ve got 6,000 backlogged cases, that’s not a function of a lot of people goofing off,” he said. However, Petit added, the problem won’t be easy to address without a huge increase in staff at the Arizona agency, and the issue will be compounded as calls keep coming. “If they’re going to do a retroactive on these 6,000 cases,” he said, “they’re going to have the same problems six months later if they don’t address the problem that led to this in the first place.”

Some Democrats have called on Carter to resign. But Brewer, a Republican, is standing by him – for now. “Once we know what happened, then accountability will take place,” Brewer spokesman Andrew Wilder said.

Depressed and Angry

Never-ending Groundhog Day Revisited

Even though I hear his warnings, I refuse to get off this roller-coaster, at least for now, just 1 more time around.

Again I have postponed the post that was ready last night.  I can see the pool of bubbling acid in Our Lab, I know this because I see Dr Frankenstein across the movie set from me.  We always enjoyed the old scary shows when we were Children.  I might as well tell you that the bubbling acid is in my stomach.

The further I got into my post last night, the more upset I became;  from the first 5 minutes, I realized that this one instance of Indifference toward Endangered Children had lingered, and in fact, had festered like the unfelt bite of a Brown Recluse.

To find out that this instance of the irresponsible, getting paid for NOT doing their job, that WE, the taxpayer, still paid them even while they DIDN’T do what they were hired and expected to do, had lingered for over 9 months.

Little did I know, I was to discover that this one instance had gone undone, and had been covered up for OVER 20 MONTHS.

How many Children are dead because of this one instance….

Love, Indifference, Perception

UnEnlightened: When Perception Borderlines Judgemental

I’ve had the same best friend my whole life…. OK, that is not exactly true, since he was born after me.  Frank is my best friend, and even though I rub the Big Brother thing in quiet often, he has been there for me as much as I have been there for him.

We talk every day, and if the truth were known, we talk many times a day and night.  When we talk, there is never the thought that we are hearing anything less than the truth.

Frank is my partner in everything, except for what should be very obvious, so don’t even go there.  He reads everything I write here, in fact, he hears most of it before it is posted.

Recently, he brought something to my attention:  my perception of why so much Indifference toward Child Abuse existed.  He explained that if someone had grownup in the perfect world where Child Abuse didn’t exist, they would have no idea of how it would, or could affect someone.  But, he also said something else that hit home:  possibly some, or probably even many didn’t “remember”….

Then we just looked at each other, not having to say a word.  I could say, at this point, that each of us was remembering things known only to himself, but I can’t and won’t, and I won’t explain the meaning behind this.  I don’t mind telling you that I, for most of my life, forget things;  not on a daily basis, nor weekly, nor even monthly.  The odd thing is, it’s not just bad things, it’s almost like static memory in a computer, although this is not exactly the way it is.  But just to throw a monkey wrench into your examination table, I remember things far beyond of where “the top minds” say it is possible for a Child to recall.

What all the above means, and what I am trying to say is:

  • My perception borderlined being judgemental
  • Agape is alive and well in at least 2 human beings
  • I have never experienced an Eros relationship
  • Philia is alive and well in at least 2 very alive people
  • Storge has never not existed in this parent and child, not even for 1 millisecond