Arizona child abuse complaints ignored
By The Associated Press
Published: Friday, Nov. 22, 2013, 6:48 p.m.
PHOENIX — A scandal in which 6,000 child abuse complaints in Arizona were filed away and never investigated illustrated what advocates say is a tragically common problem across the United States: Many agencies have crushing workloads and inadequate oversight.
In some cases, those flaws have led to deaths and criminal charges against social workers.
“This is a system that years ago was dubbed a poor system for poor people, and very often the resources are not there to do this very difficult and very important work,” said Dr. Howard Dubowitz, a pediatrician who studies child protection policies at the University of Maryland Medical Center.
“The notion that this is a system that is nicely equipped to fulfill its mandate is often a dream that some of us are hanging onto.”
Arizona officials promised prompt action when it was disclosed Thursday that over the past four years, a team at the state Child Protective Services agency tried to cope with the heavy workload by overlooking thousands of complaints.
Under state law, all reports generated via the hotline must be investigated.
Authorities re-examining the cases have identified at least 125 in which children were later alleged to have been abused.
No deaths have been connected to the lapses.
Clarence Carter, who as director of Arizona's Department of Economic Security oversees CPS, called the situation “cause for grave alarm.''
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Obama losing close adviser to end 9 years of service
- Expats renounce citizenship over U.S. tax hassles
- Obama gets in some golf on family trip to Key Largo
- World War II veteran receives once-declined Purple Heart
- Wikileaks founder teases about more secrets to be released
- Parents of ‘spoiled’ teen urge her to return home
- Immigrant detainees on hunger strike
- John Denver tune finally an ‘official’ W.Va. state song
- Sullivan case still relied on in libel claims
- Oklahoma governor’s daughter regrets wearing Native American headdress
- Flubbed ‘stifling’ finally ends 29-round spelling bee