Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Status of Abused and Neglected Children in Arizona (November 2009)

----------------------- Page 1-----------------------

                                         Status of Abused and Neglected

                                         Children in Arizona (November 2009)

4001 N 3rd St, Suite 160

Phoenix, AZ 85012

(602) 266-0707                            Recent state budget woes

www.azchildren.org                       and cuts to Child Protective

                                         Services (CPS) have

  Quick Definitions1                     impacted the ability of CPS

  Maltreatment is an act or              to investigate all reports,

  failure to act by a parent,             provide services to families in

  guardian or caregiver which            their own homes and support

  results in physical abuse,             the children in foster care.

  neglect, medical neglect,

                                         The data reported in this

  sexual abuse or emotional

  abuse.                                  report reflect the beginning

                                         of these 2009 service and

  Physical Abuse means the

                                         staffing cuts.  As in any year,

  infliction or allowing of

                                         it is important to follow the

  physical injury, impairment

                                         trends and outcomes of cases

  of bodily function or

  disfigurement.                         and share the impact of state

                                         interventions on these most

  Neglect means the inability or

                                         vulnerable children and

  unwillingness to provide a

                                         families.

  child with supervision, food,

  clothing, shelter, or medical

  care if it causes substantial

                                         All data in this report is from the Child Welfare Reporting Requirements Semi-Annual

  risk of harm to the child’s            Report, Arizona Department of Economic Security; Division of Children, Youth and

  health or welfare.                     Families; Administration of Children, Youth and Families (April 1, 2008 to September 31,

                                         2008) and/or (October    1, 2008 to March 31, 2009) unless otherwise noted.

  Emotional Abuse is evidenced

  by severe anxiety, depression,         How Many Children are Reported to Be Suffering?

  withdraw or improper

  aggressive behavior caused              There were 34,587 reports of child

  by blaming, belittling or               maltreatment made to CPS from April

  rejecting a child, constantly           1, 2008 through March 31, 2009.  This

  treating siblings unequally,            is a 3% reduction from the same time

  and a persistent lack of con-           period in 2007 - 2008.

  cern for the child’s welfare.  

                                          A majority of the reports were

  1                                       classified as neglect (58%), while one

   Categories of Abuse and Neglect,

                                          third were related to physical abuse

  Arizona Department of Economic

  Security, https://egov.azdes.gov/       (35%).  Other reports alleged sexual

  cmsinternet/main.aspx?                  abuse (6%) or emotional abuse (1%).

----------------------- Page 2-----------------------

Status of Abused and Neglected Children in Arizona

Page 2

                       Child Maltreatment is Deadly and Preventable 2

Fifty-one children died in        of  them had mental,            Nearly half (54%) of the       the child died. Six cases

2008 due to maltreatment,         physical, and/or sensory        maltreatment deaths            had recent allegations

down from 65 in 2007.             disabilities.                  were homicides; blunt           that were in the process

                                                                 force trauma was the            of being investigated.

  Drugs and/or alcohol            Of the maltreatment

                                                                  leading cause of death.

  were contributing factors       deaths, a biological

  in 27 of the deaths.            parent was the                  Prior involvement with

                                  perpetrator in 71% of          CPS was identified in

  Twenty-nine of the                                                                           2

                                 the cases; a boyfriend or       30 (59%) of the deaths,        Arizona Child Fatality Review

  children were younger           step-parent was the            and eight of these cases      Team, Sixteenth Annual Report,

  than one year old; eight                                                                      November 2009.

                                  perpetrator in 14%.            were open at the time

               The Number of  Children in Foster Care is                                      Over 8,000 children

                                       Increasing                                              (8,435) entered the

      12,000                                                                                  foster care system

      10,000

       8,000                                                                                  between April 1,

       6,000

                                                                                              2008 and March

       4,000

       2,000                                                                                  31, 2009, a 10%

           0

                                                                                              increase from the

                                                                                              previous year.

                 Significant Racial Disparities Exist Among Foster Youth

                                                                                             There are far more African-

                                                                                             American children in foster

                                                                                             care than in the overall

                                                                                             child population in Arizona

                                                                                              (14% and 4% respectively).

                                                                                             African American children

                                                                                             are 6% more likely to be

                                                                                              returned home with their

                                                                                             families as compared to

                                                                                             White children.

----------------------- Page 3-----------------------

            Status of Abused and Neglected Children in Arizona

                                                                                                                            Page 3

                         Placement of  Children in Out-of-Home Care

On March 31, 2009, there were 10,404 children in

out-of-home care, a 7% increase over the same

period the previous year.

Eleven percent (885) of all the children entering

out-of-home care between April 2008 and March

2009 had entered out-of-home care at least once

before in the prior 12 months.

The number of children (1,375) in congregate care

placements (i.e., group homes, residential treat-

ment centers or shelters) decreased by 13% from

March 2008 - March 2009.

On March 31, 2009, 15% of kids in out-of-home

care (1,541) had a case goal of long-term foster

care or independent living.  This means they will

likely grow up in foster care, and as young adults,             indicates an increase in the number of children overseen

leave foster care to live on their own.                         by the courts.   A series of legal proceedings must take

                                                                place with each case, which puts stress on the time and

From July 2007 to June 2008, there were 3,702                  resources of the courts, legal advocates and foster care

new dependency petitions filed in Arizona juvenile              volunteers.3

courts, representing 5,930 children and a 2.8%

                                                                3 Arizona Supreme Court , Administrative Office of the Courts,

increase from the previous year.  This number

                                                                 Dependent Children’s Services.

Who’s Entering Foster Care...Who’s Leaving?

  7,638 children left out-of-home

  care between April 1, 2008 and

  March 31, 2009.  In that same

  time frame, 8,435 children

  entered the out-of-home care

  system.

  From April 1, 2008 to March 31,

  2009, roughly 55% of foster

  children who left care did so

  within one year.  Another 45%

  (3,229) had been in care for

  more than one year and 23%

  (1,690) had been in the state’s 

  care for more than two years.

----------------------- Page 4-----------------------

  Status of Abused and Neglected Children in Arizona

Page 4

Reason for Leaving Care

Between April 1, 2008 and             ing 18 years old had

March 31, 2009, 7,363                 lived in close to eight

children left foster care.            placements and had

                                       been in care for

    The typical child leaving

                                       almost four years.

    foster care was eight

    years old, had one foster         As of March 31,

    placement and had been             2009, there were

    in care close to 10                238 children with a

    months.                            case plan of

                                       adoption who had

    On the average, youth

                                       not  yet been placed

    who left care after reach-

                                       in a prospective

                                       adoptive home.

Oversight

The ability to provide timely, appropriate and required services to children and families involved in the child

welfare system depends largely on the caseloads of direct service staff.  In June 2009, CPS investigation staff

averaged 15 cases per full-time employee (FTE), well above the standard caseload of 10 per FTE.  Also, in-home

and out-of-home services caseloads were about 30% above the Arizona standard.                    Recent budget cuts and staff

lay-offs have made matters worse:  from January through June 2009, the annualized turnover rate for CPS

Specialists was 51.4% 4

Although caseworkers and other professionals are legally required to meet personally with children in out-of-home

care at least once a month, 3,157 (30%) of foster kids did not receive a visit in March 2009, up from the 24% not

receiving their required visit in March 2008.  When a child’s case plan is family reunification, caseworkers have 

similar monthly meeting requirements with parents, but 46% (813) of parents did not receive their monthly

meeting in March 2009, up from 38% of parents in March 2008.

                                                                                                        The number of

                                                                                                        licensed foster homes

                                             CPS Caseloads

    30                                       28                                                         increased by 331 to a

                                                                            24                          total of 3,592, and the

    25

                                                                                                        number of available

                                                      Standard

    20

               15                                         19                        Standard            spaces increased 32%

    15                                                                                  16              from 6,283 to 8,293.

                        Standard

    10

                           10                                                                           As reported in March

     5

                                                                                                        2009, 24% of foster

     0

                                                                                                        homes (930) did not

                 Investigations               In-home services            Out-of-home services

                                                                                                        receive the required

                                     June 2009   AZ Caseload Standard                                   quarterly visit by their

  4                                                                                                     licensing worker.

  Financial Program Accountability Report for CPS for the Reporting Period of January - June 2009