More Light Shed on 6,600 Uninvestigated Child Abuse Cases

Sep 25, 2014

The final results are in as to what happened to those nearly 6,600 complaints of child abuse that were never investigated. Arizona Public Radio’s Howard Fischer has details.

Rep. Kate Brophy McGee, left, talks about needed reforms to the child welfare system last year. With her is Gov. Jan Brewer.
Credit Capitol Media Services file photo by Howard Fischer


The governor appointed a special team last year after it was discovered that some workers at Child Protective Services had simply marked complaints that came in “NI”: as in not investigated. That violates state law. The team managed to make contact with the children who were reported as victims and eventually removed nearly 600 from their homes. But, Rep. Kate Brophy McGee, at the forefront of monitoring the issue, said no one should consider the problem of staying on top of abuse complaints solved.

“We’re just not out of the woods yet. But we have taken an impressive and important step forward. We’ve got to take those steps. And we’ve started. I’m happy with how we started. But we’re not even close to getting it fixed,” Brophy McGee said.

The Legislature also created an entirely new Department of Child Safety and pumped in millions of dollars more. Brophy McGee said she now wants to make sure the new agency is properly set up and up to the task.

“It’s like building a plane in a combat zone. Because you’ve got thousands of calls coming in every month that you have to deal with. So it’s not like the problems that children and families are having stop and go away,” she said.