The Budget Process Begins
Governor Brewer’s budget proposal sets a good initial framework for the public conversation on the investments that are needed to combine with leadership and proven policies to protect children from abuse and neglect. The Governor recognizes that CPS reform and repair must begin with reducing the caseloads for staff and that change cannot wait for the new fiscal year in July.
Governor Brewer’s budget proposal also recognizes that a successful CPS requires infrastructure investments, such as transition costs to a new state agency and an update of the very old and cumbersome CPS database system, called CHILDS.
Her budget leaves a large gap in prevention and family support. There is no new funding for child care, so thousands of hardworking families will continue to be frozen out of assistance. They will struggle to get to work and be reliable employees and may end up in reports of child neglect. There is no enhancement, increase or reform of strategies to help families before or after a CPS report. There are no partnerships with foster parents or community-based agencies to help children recover and build successful lives.
We look forward to working with Director Flanagan, the CARE Team, community partners, national experts, and legislative committees and members on a plan to build a full child protection system that will leave a legacy of safer children and stronger families.
More information to come in the weeks ahead.