seems like every day we hear tragic news about children removed from their homes
because the parents are drug addicted or perpetrators of domestic violence, only
to be returned to those same homes to suffer horrible abuse and death. The new
transparency laws have told us a lot in the past month: the heartbreaking truth
is that we do not have the laws in place to protect these vulnerable children.
Enough is Enough
It seems like every day we hear tragic news
about children removed from their homes because the parents are drug addicted or
perpetrators of domestic violence, only to be returned to those same homes to
suffer horrible abuse and death. The new transparency laws have told us a lot in
the past month: the heartbreaking truth is that we do not have the laws in place
to protect these vulnerable children.
I am steadfastly and resolutely committed to
reforming our laws to ensure our most vulnerable children are safe. They must
have a safe home environment, the stability of a real and forever family, and
the opportunity to thrive. Family reunification is a noble goal, but it only
works if there is a real family. We must put in place laws and policy that
ensure both the child’s permanency AND safety. We must hold parents accountable
and provide ongoing support to ensure they maintain their commitment to be
parents. Most of all, we must stop putting children back into unsafe homes where
terrible consequences can occur. Our job as a legislature will only be complete
when these tragedies stop occurring with such awful frequency.
As the Co-Chair of the Joint Legislative
Oversight Committee for the Department of Child Safety, I am working closely
with Governor Ducey and his staff to build upon the reforms establishing the new
Department of Child Safety in May 2014, and the transparency laws adopted this
last session. In that role I have been contacted by the media seeking comment
reforms to the agency. The links below are recent stories and media interviews
about the agency’s operations and potential legislation.
Many foster parents, grandparents and service
providers have reached out to me and shared their stories and experiences. My
thanks to them for their courageous insights and needed perspectives. Based on
their testimony, I believe I’m on the right track.
Horizon Interview: Child Abuse Cases
problems with how the state is handling child-abuse cases are resulting in calls
by one lawmaker for more safeguards when children are re-united with high-risk
How do you
assess the transition from CPS to DCS? The transition is every bit as
complicated as was promised. The statutes enacting the agency are clean, and
provide a clear framework, but establishing the new agency, from offices to
website, hiring and training caseworkers and supervisors...
Andrew Isaacs update: New details released in Mesa
AMESA, AZ - The Department of Child Safety has released new
information about the history of a Mesa toddler who died last week. 21-month-old
Joylynne Giebel was living in a Mesa apartment with her mother, step father and