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Updated Jan 31, 2014 - 2:03 pm

Report cites 'systematic failure' for CPS blunders

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, center, applauds a member of the audience along with Arizona Speaker of The House Andy Tobin, right, R-Dewey, and Arizona Senate President Andy Biggs, R-Gilbert, during her State of the State address in the Arizona House of Representatives at the Arizona Capitol Monday, Jan. 13, 2014, in Phoenix. The Republican governor used her annual State of the State address to focus on overhauling a troubled child welfare agency, boosting the economy and changing the way schools are funded. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

PHOENIX -- A report released Friday cited "systematic failure, a lack of accountability and transparency and bad decision making" as the reasons more than 6,000 reports of child abuse went uninvestigated by Child Protective Services.

The report was released by the Independent Child Advocate Response Examination (CARE) Team assembled by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer after it was discovered so many cases had gone uninvestigated.

The report said the issues plaguing the embattled agency are "varied, complex and interrelated" that are not able to be solved independently.

The problems began with insufficient staffing that led to high turnover and case backlog, leading to a daily struggle to keep up. That struggle affected management, who do not set clear performance standards and were insufficiently trained.

Brewer said she was dissolving CPS during her State of the State address, which is what the report recommended. It went on to say that a new, "laser-focused" agency should take its place. It was recommended that the agency work with the attorney general's office, human services providers and the foster care community in a transparent fashion.

During CARE's review, it assigned all 6,554 cases to an investigator and 60 percent of those are being worked on. More than 5,000 at-risk children have been visited, with 400 of those being removed from the home.

The full 53-page report can be read here.


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