ARIZONA NEWS

Arizona DCS head responds to claims of failed foster care protections

Feb 21, 2018, 4:24 PM | Updated: 9:42 pm
(Flickr/Richard Leeming)...
(Flickr/Richard Leeming)
(Flickr/Richard Leeming)
LISTEN: Greg McKay, Department of Child Safety Director

PHOENIX — The main department in Arizona that oversees the state’s foster care system has come under fire recently for allegedly failing to protect foster children from sexual abuse.

But Director Greg McKay, the head of the Arizona Department of Child Safety, told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Mac and Gaydos that the department is doing the best it can to prevent these types of incidents.

McKay said when foster children are placed in homes, the department always checks the background of those who are living in the house through federal, local and state criminal history checks.

The department also searches the sex offender registry for any red flags of occupants in the house, he added.

But, McKay argued, issues can arise if a foster child is placed in a home of someone who often has other people staying with them for short periods of time and does not alert the department.

“If you allow someone to spend a night in your home and you don’t report that to DCS, we have no idea who is there,” McKay said.

“If a child says they’ve been victimized…that’s not something anyone would have known about,” he added.

Within the last month, two multimillion dollar claims — a precursor to a possible lawsuit — have been filed accusing the Department of Child Safety of failing to protect foster children from sexual abuse.

A $15 million legal claim was filed on Feb. 5 alleged that an 18-year-old foster child spent 12 years in the home of a man later convicted of child sex crimes.

Another $22 million claim filed on Feb. 10 claimed an 8-year-old girl was sexually abused in 2016 by Jose A. Egurrola, a registered sex offender who lived in the Phoenix-area homes of the girl’s foster parents.

While McKay said he could not speak specifically to any certain crime due to pending litigation, he said the department’s No. 1 job is to keep children safe.

“We obviously wouldn’t put someone in the home of a registered sex offender,” he said. “All we can do is what we do: Check backgrounds, do home studies, go through licensed agencies.

“Anytime something happens, our job is to ensure the process is done adequately.”

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Facebook Photo/City Government of Chandler, Arizona)...
KTAR.com

Chandler City Council approves policy to prohibit acts of discrimination

The Chandler City Council voted 6-1 to adopt an ordinance that prohibits discrimination during Monday’s meeting.
1 day ago
(Photo by Mike Simons/Getty Images)...
Associated Press

Execution warrant requested for Arizona death row inmate

The Arizona Attorney General’s Office has requested the state Supreme Court issue a warrant of execution for death row inmate Aaron Gunches.
1 day ago
(Facebook Photo/Angel Zamora)...
KTAR.com

2 Phoenix police officers charged with assault in October incident with shooting suspect

Charges against two Phoenix police officers accused of assaulting a shooting suspect during an October arrest have been submitted to the Maricopa County Attorney's Office.
1 day ago
(Screenshot via Glendale Police Department)...
KTAR.com

Glendale police said officer who activated Taser on shoplifting suspect 14 times followed policy

Glendale police said an officer who activated a Taser 14 times on a shoplifting suspect Tuesday acted within department policy.
1 day ago
(Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Photo/Andrew Pielage)...
KTAR.com

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West in Scottsdale to host 1st holiday experience

The Scottsdale winter home and studio of renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright will host two weekends of holiday-themed activities open to the public for the first time.
1 day ago
Teofilo Acuna Gutierrez (Photo courtesy of DPS)...
KTAR.com

Silver Alert canceled for 78-year-old man last seen in Phoenix

A Silver Alert was canceled Wednesday evening in Phoenix for a 78-year-old man who hasn't been spotted since Friday.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Quantum Fiber

Stream 4K and more with powerful, high-speed fiber internet

Picking which streaming services to subscribe to are difficult choices, and there is no room for internet that cannot handle increased demands.
...
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet can improve everyday life

Quantum Fiber supplies unlimited data with speeds up to 940 mbps, enough to share 4K videos with coworkers 20 times faster than a cable.
...
Children’s Cancer Network

Children’s Cancer Network celebrates cancer-fighting superheroes, raises funds during September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Jace Hyduchak was like most other kids in his kindergarten class: He loved to play basketball, dress up like his favorite superheroes and jump as high as his pint-sized body would take him on his backyard trampoline.
Arizona DCS head responds to claims of failed foster care protections