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Bill could lead to more Arizonans losing parental rights

PHOENIX — Arizona Sen. Rick Murphy’s bill could put more kids on the fast track for new, permanent homes.

Currently, if Child Protective Services takes custody of a child 3 years old and younger, the courts generally give parents six months to get their acts together or risk losing their children forever. Murphy’s legislation, Senate Bill 1407, would raise the age of five when it comes to the termination of parental rights and finding a permanent home.

“They need that security of knowing okay this is where I’m going to be and these people are committed to me and I’m not going to be shuffled around like an end table,” Murphy said. “It just does fundamental damage to them to be bounced around a lot at such a young age.”

Murphy also stressed the importance of the state offering enough resources to to parents to ensure that they have the opportunity to “get their act together,” and know what they’re required to do.

Murphy said that parents “not really getting the opportunity to demonstrate they should get their kids back,” has been an issue.

Another piece of Arizona legislation, Senate Bill 1386, requires a CPS review and includes a provision for an outside consultant that would recommend best practices that have been effective in other states.