State Capitol News
10:04 am
Tue December 3, 2013

Brewer Blasts Policies of Child Protective Services

A new oversight team will be reviewing how Arizona Child Protective Services operates. Arizona Public Radio’s Howard Fischer reports that Gov. Jan Brewer wants answers to some basic operational questions regarding CPS.

Charles Flannigan, head of the state Department of Juvenile Corrections, explains how a task force he will head at the direction of Gov. Jan Brewer will take a closer look at the operations of Child Protective Services.
Charles Flannigan, head of the state Department of Juvenile Corrections, explains how a task force he will head at the direction of Gov. Jan Brewer will take a closer look at the operations of Child Protective Services.
Credit Photo by Howard Fischer (Capitol Media Services)

Brewer is demanding answers as to how CPS ended up with a de-facto policy of flagging some complaints to its child-abuse hotline as not for investigation. As a result, more than 6,500 such cases over four years wound up in an electronic dustbin.

“I believe personally that there has been a break in the command,” said Brewer. “And we will get to the bottom of it. And somebody — people — will be held accountable. We’re not going to tolerate this.”

The governor said she does not believe the problem originated with Clarence Carter, director of the state Department of Economic Security, parent agency of CPS. But she clearly wants to know where the policy did begin.

“I think that we need a complete, full investigation,” said Brewer. “We need to know where all the bodies are buried, if you will, no pun intended. But we’re not going to start attacking people until we know that we’ve got a basis to do that.”

Gubernatorial press aide Andrew Wilder said some information will come from a separate inquiry of CPS already being conducted by the state Department of Public Safety.