CASA of Arizona

Child Welfare
© CASA of Arizona

Child Welfare



"What the wisest parent would want for its child, this is what the community should desire for all its children." (John Dewey)

THE PROBLEM:

In Arizona during the last reporting period of Oct. 1, 2013 - Mar. 31, 2014 there were 22,956 calls to the Child Abuse Hotline which met statutory criteria for a DCS report. The calls inform DCS of the potential abuse or neglect of a child or children.(DES Semi-Annual Report, 3/14) 

DCS investigates these calls to determine whether the children can safely remain in the home, whether services to the family can be offered, and/or whether the children need to be removed from the home to keep them safe.

SOME FACTS:

As of March 31, 2014 there were 15,751 Arizona children in out-of-home care - in relative placement, foster homes, group homes, shelters or residential treatment centers. This is a 4.7% increase from the prior reporting period. (DES Semi-Annual Report, 3/14)

During a six month period of time (Oct. 1, 2013 to Mar. 31, 2014) 2,485 children exited the system to family reunification (decrease of 8.6%*), 1,518 children exited to adoption (increase of 20%*) and  271 children exited to guardianship (decrease of 20%*). *Compared to last reporting period.(DES Semi-Annual Report, 3/14)

African American children represent 4.8% of population yet 14.2% are in out-of-home care. (2010 U.S. Census & DES Semi-Annual Report, 3/14)

There are currently 920 CASA Volunteers in Arizona serving 1,554 dependent children. Only 1 out of 10 foster children in Arizona has a CASA Volunteer. The need for more CASA Volunteers is critical.

CONCLUSION:

Reform is needed to prevent the large number of children in care as well as serving children in care. Disproportionality of children in care needs to be addressed. Diversity and inclusiveness education must be an integral part of this effort.

READ MORE . . .

Child Welfare Reform

Child Welfare Statistics

Diversity & Inclusiveness