Gov. Jan Brewer has made an executive order to shut down the agency that oversees the state’s Child Protective Services. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, the order comes after at least a year of widespread mismanagement at CPS.
Yesterday, the governor announced the dissolution of the Department of Economic Security Division of Children, Youth and Families.
CPS services will now be handled by the newly created Division of Child Safety and Family Services, a stand-alone department within DES. The former agency is under scrutiny because of thousands of child abuse and neglect cases that were reported but never investigated.
Gov. Brewer has appointed Charles Flanagan to oversee the new agency. He is also head of the CARE Team, established last year to examine at least 6,500 uninvestigated abuse cases. Flanagan told Channel 3 TV in Phoenix that CPS caseworker turnover in Arizona is “horrendous” and that more employees are needed to help protect Arizona’s at-risk children.
Flanagan is also head of the Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections.
Requests for comment from the governor’s office on how the new division will operate were not immediately returned.