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ARIZONA’S CHILD-WELFARE PROGRAM OVERWHELMED WITH NEW CASES

The head of Arizona’s child-welfare system stated at least $115 million more is needed to handle the care for children that have either been abused or neglected. The foster care system in Arizona appears not to be adequate to make up for the number of cases that Child Protective Services workers are seeing. It is anticipated that there will be a 7 to 8 percent increase in the caseload during the next couple years.

Proposals have been made to remedy this problem by the Arizona Department of Economic Security Director. He has made a proposal to Governor Jan Brewer to make certain that more children are leaving the foster care program than entering it in Arizona by 2016. Though one child advocate welcomes such measures, she also feels that other measures must be taken to prevent child neglect from occurring to begin with.

In face of this overwhelming problem, all of the resources we spend in helping out children likely will remain insufficient.  As in so many child custody matters, individual attention needs to be made concerning each child.

The goal for every family law attorney in matters concerning children is to determine what is in the best interest of the child.  Unfortunately that goal is not always shared by parents of the children.  Parents fail to pay child support and in some instances have no contact with the child whatsoever.  

Attorneys, on the other hand, can sometimes provide options to get parents involved in the lives of their children and to provide financial support.  In other cases this may include getting individuals such as step-parents or grandparents to be provided the legal rights to raise the child.

Source: Arizona Daily Sun, “Arizona child-welfare system seeking more money,” Sep. 21, 2013

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