Thursday, December 13, 2012

AZ Foster Kids in AZ Hits Record High As CPS Struggles With Budget Crunch

Posted By on Thu, Dec 13, 2012 at 11:00 AM

The Arizona Republic digs through CPS emails that reveal an agency that is struggling to meet demand as the number of foster kids hit an all-time high:

State officials acknowledge a current-year CPS budget gap of up to $35 million, about $27 million of it because of the growing number of foster kids and the need to place more children in group homes and shelters.

The state has seen a 25 percent increase in the number of kids in foster care this past year, hitting a record 14,500 children last month, as worker caseloads continue to be two and three times state and national standards. The influx and a shortage of foster homes mean more children are living in group homes and shelters, which cost the state up to four times as much as placing kids in foster homes.

Officials maintain the shortfall has not led to any reduction in services to families, including supervised visits and parent-aide services. They say the budget gap will be filled with $20 million in federal block-grant funding intended for a variety of social services.

But internal memos and interviews with service providers, attorneys and others show parents and children are limited to one visit per week even though Maricopa County Juvenile Court judges routinely ordered two visits weekly for babies and children 3 and younger.

CPS also has drastically reduced the use of parent aides, who had been supervising most weekly parent-child visits. That task that now falls to CPS case managers and assistants, known as case aides, even as the number of foster children continues to rise.

“It’s true that there’s no reduction in dollars, but there is a reduction in services if you look at the fact that everybody isn’t able to get services,” said Ron Carpio, a vice president for TERROS, which runs the Families FIRST substance-abuse program in Maricopa County. “They can’t keep up with the visits.”

Tags: , , , , ,

Comments (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

Previously in the Range

More by Jim Nintzel

  • Taking Initiative

    Here’s how to save a ballot-box tradition before you lose your rights
    • Feb 16, 2017
  • The Skinny

    Activists want U.S. Rep. McSally to hear from them at an open meeting, but McSally has other plans.
    • Feb 9, 2017
  • The Skinny

    Trump takes his first stab at a Muslim ban. Chaos ensues.
    • Feb 2, 2017
  • More »
Today | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun
Burlesque Fitness

Burlesque Fitness @ Floor Polish

Mondays, Wednesdays, 4:30-5:30 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

Staff Pick

A Conversation with Edith Head

A behind the scenes feast of great movie lore and delicious stories as told by 8 time… More

@ Invisible Theatre Thu., Feb. 23, 7:30-9 p.m., Fri., Feb. 24, 7:30-9 p.m. and Sat., Feb. 25, 3-4:30 & 7:30-9 p.m. 1400 N. First Ave.

» More Picks

Submit an Event Listing

Popular Content

© 2017 Tucson Weekly | 7225 Mona Lisa Rd. Ste. 125, Tucson AZ 85741 | (520) 797-4384 | Powered by Foundation