PHOENIX (AP) _ A team named by Gov. Jan Brewer to review how more than 6,500
child abuse and neglect reports went uninvestigated and to recommend changes at
the agency released its report Friday. Some of the key findings and
recommendations of the CARE team:
• The agency should be refocused on its core mission of child safety with
direct accountability to the governor.
• The 6,554 cases were not investigated due to systemic failure, a lack of
accountability and transparency and bad decision-making.
• Law enforcement agencies are a critical and underused partner.
• Teams made up of state child welfare law enforcement investigators, local
police, child welfare agency specialists and social services groups are the best
way to deliver results.
• More staff, greater efficiency and following law and policy can help ensure
the agency accomplishes its child safety mission.
• The new Division of Child Safety and Family Services should consult with the
Office of the Attorney General to reevaluate the current interpretation of
federal privacy laws so the agency can be more transparent.
• Social workers assigned to the field should receive investigator training,
possibly through a community college law enforcement training program.
• The Legislature should remove civil service protections from all agency
workers so they can be rewarded for exceptional performance.
• Create an inspections bureau to tighten oversight.
• Overhaul the hotline process to ensure calls get a quick response by
increasing staffing and adding law enforcement officers.