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Scottsdale will assist state in investigating ignored CPS reports

This information was released jointly by Scottsdale Mayor W.J. "Jim" Lane and the Arizona Office of Child Welfare Investigations

Dec. 10, 2013

Contact:
Sgt. Mark Clark, Scottsdale Police Department
mclark@scottsdaleaz.gov; (480) 312-1910

Gregory McKay, Office of Child Welfare Investigations
gmckay@azdes.gov; (602) 771-8078

J.P. Twist, Office of the Mayor
jptwist@scottsdaleaz.gov; (480) 312-7806


Scottsdale will assist state in investigating ignored CPS reports

In response to the revelation that Arizona Child Protective Services  failed to investigate 6,554 reports involving child abuse or neglect, Scottsdale Mayor W.J. “Jim” Lane announced today that the Scottsdale Police Department will step in to assist the Governor’s Child Advocate Response Examination Team (CARE Team) through the Office of Child Welfare Investigations (OCWI) in investigating all overlooked reports that reside within the boundaries of Scottsdale.  

 

“The fact that children in our community have gone neglected is absolutely and undeniably unacceptable,” said Mayor Lane.  “As Mayor, it was paramount to me that Scottsdale step-up and step-in to assist the state in thoroughly investigating these reports as quickly as humanly possible. I encourage my fellow mayor’s to lend their city’s resources as well.”

 

This week, the Scottsdale Police Department (SPD) will form a special task force that will begin investigating nearly 143 reports, extracted from the 6,554, that fall within the state's jurisdiction.

 

“The Scottsdale Police Departments, Investigative Services Bureau will begin combing through and investigating each and every one of these reports ASAP,” said Police Chief Alan Rodbell.  “Reports of child abuse or neglect must never go uninvestigated.” 

 

Following guidelines set by the CARE Team, SPD will contact, if possible, the source of the original report of suspected maltreatment. SPD will view the child to the extent necessary to describe the child's overall appearance.  Officers also will conduct an interview based on the reported allegations and will go through a safety assessment checklist. They will also follow up to view the child's living conditions.  

“We are grateful to Mayor Lane and the Scottsdale Police Department for stepping in to assist us during this critical time,” said OCWI Chief Gregory McKay. “The investigating and processing of these 6,554 cases will obviously require a massive "boots on the ground" effort not easily attainable by utilizing only CPS resources.”

 

The Office of Child Welfare Investigations uncovered the practice within CPS to disposition cases as “Not Investigated.” The office created as a result of reforms formulated by Gov. Brewer and implemented during her administration.  It is headed by Chief Gregory McKay and employs Child Welfare Investigators to handle criminal conduct allegations of child abuse.  The mission of the Office of Child Welfare Investigation is to provide thorough, uniform investigations of child abuse to better protect children and increase the likelihood of criminal prosecution of offenders.

 

Upon learning of the “Not Investigated” cases, Gov. Brewer proactively formed the Independent Child Care Advocates Examination Team (CARE Team). That team is charged with providing oversight for the investigation of cases that were designated as “Not Investigated” by CPS.  The independent CARE Team will also examine the CPS system to identify areas of concern.  The review will include consideration of personnel, operations, processes and policies.  Once areas of improvement are identified, the team will submit a summary of its findings directly to Gov. Brewer.