Saturday, June 7, 2008

CPS Under Investigation

Bud Foster KOLD News 13 Political Specialist

A new report released Thursday about three Tucson children killed in our City. Their deaths happened while the children and their families were under the watchful eye of child protective services.

Five- year- old Brandon Williams died after being given a huge dose of adult cough medicine. His mother Diane Marsh and her roommate Flower Thompson are accused in Brandon's death.

The body of 4-year-old Ariana Payne was found February in a Tucson storage locker. The body of her brother, 5-year-old Tyler has never been found but investigators accuse the children's father Christopher Payne of killing them both.

In the report released by The Department of Economic Security Division of Children, Youth and Families it states that safety intervention was not a formal model existing in Arizona.

Which means that CPS spent a lot of time on these two cases, but never developed family circumstances which might have pointed to danger for the children. The 34 page report was done by an independent expert following accusations CPS did not do enough to protect the childern.

The report says CPS was focused on family reconciliation. So CPS officials never determined whether the children would be safe with the father, who when arrested admitted to heroin use and child abuse.

CPS says it has adopted new policies which now say safety can be a central driving influence during investigations. The report say CPS will now consider the safe/unsafe environment of a family.