Posted: Dec 07, 2012 10:52 PM Updated: Dec 07, 2012 10:53 PM

By Matt Mendes - email

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

A mother is left waiting, not knowing when she will see her two children next. She is one of thousands of parents across the state affected by a new Child Protective Services - or CPS - policy.

"It's terrifying because I don't know what's going on with my kids," said Regina Lopez.

Lopez had her two boys, ages 4 and 5, taken away by CPS nearly a year and a half ago. She was involved in a domestic violence case and tested positive or drugs. She says she's now clean.

"They know they come to my house regularly. Wednesday's and Friday's. They weren't there this morning. So, my heart breaks for my kids."

She and thousands of other parents are left waiting, hopeless, not knowing when the next time they'll see their kids.

Agencies like Aviva Children's Services says CPS told them on Monday, the state is running a shortfall, not enough money to have 11 agencies supervise visits between parents and children.

Bob Heslinga with Aviva Children Services says that means they refer the families to CPS case managers who already are overloaded with work.

"Just from our agency alone to turn over to CPS case managers who are already overloaded, giving them 100 more families to provide visits for, really?" said Heslinga.

We reached out to CPS, they say they're not cutting budgets, instead just being fiscally responsible and will continue allowing parent/child visits.

But, Pima County Juvenile Court is concerned the state is now allowing enough money to ensure these visits. They issued this statement on Friday:

"While dependency cases in Pima County have increased by 50% in 2012, children should not be denied frequent, quality parent-child visits because of increased caseloads."

Parents, like Regina Lopez are waiting it out and holding on for hope.

"I'm doing my best to be strong. I'm remaining strong for my kids. My kids is what keeps me going," said Lopez.

The full statement from CPS follows:

"No services have ended. Staff and courts will continue to refer services to meet the needs of the families we serve, including visitation. The Department is more than willing to continue working with the providers to manage this situation together. For fiscal year 2013, there have been neither budget cuts nor targeted service cuts in child welfare.  Due to rapid caseload growth and the need to ensure that available resources are used as effectively as possible, the Department continues to evaluate all services delivered to ensure they are necessary and delivered at a time when the family can be receptive to the assistance.  Regarding the increases in caseloads, the Department routinely notifies stakeholders, including legislators, of the changes in the child welfare caseload through various reports.  In addition, there have been numerous news articles on this topic. There have not been cuts to services nor are any specific cuts planned for fiscal year 2013.  In order to minimize the risk of future cuts, the Department requested approximately $54 million in additional funding to address the growth in child welfare caseloads for fiscal year 2014.  If authorized by the Legislature and approved by the Governor, this additional funding would be available beginning July 1, 2013."

Copyright 2012 Tucson News Now All rights reserved.



Special Note from author Jessica Lynn Hepner - 

I am in shock that in Pima Country only there has been a rise on Dependency Cases by 50 percent in 2012.  What in the hell is going on here?

Please Make Note

Please make note that I, Jessica Lynn Hepner the creator of What Every Parent Should Know, is not giving legal advice. I am not a lawyer. I am giving you knowledge via first hand experiences.

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Save A Life by Angie Kassabie

Save A Life by Angie Kassabie
I URGE ALL MY FRIENDS TO READ & SHARE THIS; YOU COULD SAVE A LOVED ONES LIFE BY KNOWING THIS SIMPLE INFORMATION!!! Stroke has a new indicator! They say if you forward this to ten people, you stand a chance of saving one life. Will you send this along? Blood Clots/Stroke - They Now Have a Fourth Indicator, the Tongue: During a BBQ, a woman stumbled and took a little fall - she assured everyone that she was fine (they offered to call paramedics) ...she said she had just tripped over a brick because of her new shoes. They got her cleaned up and got her a new plate of food. While she appeared a bit shaken up, Jane went about enjoying herself the rest of the evening. Jane's husband called later telling everyone that his wife had been taken to the hospital - (at 6:00 PM Jane passed away.) She had suffered a stroke at the BBQ. Had they known how to identify the signs of a stroke, perhaps Jane would be with us today. Some don't die. They end up in a helpless, hopeless condition instead. It only takes a minute to read this. A neurologist says that if he can get to a stroke victim within 3 hours he can totally reverse the effects of a stroke...totally. He said the trick was getting a stroke recognized, diagnosed, and then getting the patient medically cared for within 3 hours, which is tough. >>RECOGNIZING A STROKE<< Thank God for the sense to remember the '3' steps, STR. Read and Learn! Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. Unfortunately, the lack of awareness spells disaster. The stroke victim may suffer severe brain damage when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a stroke. Now doctors say a bystander can recognize a stroke by asking three simple questions: S *Ask the individual to SMILE. T *Ask the person to TALK and SPEAK A SIMPLE SENTENCE (Coherently) (i.e. Chicken Soup) R *Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS. If he or she has trouble with ANY ONE of these tasks, call emergency number immediately and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher. New Sign of a Stroke -------- Stick out Your Tongue NOTE: Another 'sign' of a stroke is this: Ask the person to 'stick' out his tongue. If the tongue is 'crooked', if it goes to one side or the other that is also an indication of a stroke. A cardiologist says if everyone who gets this e-mail sends it to 10 people; you can bet that at least one life will be saved. I have done my part. Will you?

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