Governor Brewer calls state lawmakers into special session to de

Governor Brewer calls state lawmakers into special session to debate Child Welfare Reform

Governor Jan Brewer, (R) Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, (R) Arizona
PHOENIX - Arizona Governor Jan Brewer is calling the legislature into a special session next Tuesday, May 27th, to debate her proposal for overhauling the state's child welfare agency. 

The governor proposed the overhaul after it was revealed late last year that Child Protective Services (CPS) failed to investigate more than 6,500 child abuse and neglect reports.

In January, Governor Brewer signed an Executive Order abolishing Child Protective Services and reorganizing a new Division of Child Safety and Family Services led by Director Charles Flanagan which reports directly to the governor.

"There can be no higher priority for our state than the safety of its children, who for too long have been failed by a system plagued by a lack of transparency and accountability, a shortage of resources, a massive backlog of cases and a flawed focus," said Governor Brewer.

Brewer wants $60 million in new funding to separate the agency from its old parent department, deal with a backlog of cases and beef up other services.

"If we do not act strategically - and soon - to reverse this damage, the crisis will only continue to worsen. It is time that we establish a new Department - with a mission focused on child safety, a culture conducive to fulfilling that mission, and the resources to do the job."

The governor said the new agency will have new provisions dealing with oversight and transparency.