Arizona Family Rights Project launches the new series “Arizona CPS Exposed” on America Speaks Blog Talk Radio. This series will discuss the problems with Arizona’s CPS system, ways you can help make changes and ways you can protect your children and family from the over-reach and abuse from an out-of-control agency.
Each week we will focus on different issues and topics taking you through a CPS case.
On August 31, 2012 CPS took 9 of our grandchildren into custody. Our family saw and lived through the abuse of CPS in Arizona. Throughout the case we paid attention and took notes. What we witnessed was unbelievable. The tentacles of the abuse run not only within the agency, but reach out to service providers, foster parents as well as our elected officials responsible for the agency.
It took 14 ½ months to get all 9 children in the custody of family as well as:
- 137 hours of parenting classes
- 84 therapy appointments for the mother (doesn’t include children’s therapy)
- 45 CFT meetings
- 22 IEP meetings
- 29 court hearings
- Approximately 450 hours of visitation
- And approximately $60,000
To buy back the children from the state, the ransom paid to the hostage takers.
Against the odds our case ended with the reunification of 7 of the children with the mother. The father’s rights were voluntarily severed to give the mother a chance. One of the children is in our custody on probation from his arrest while in foster care. The initial victim of the case is participating in the Young Adult Program and is living with the alleged abuser’s mother, the paternal grandmother. While the CPS case is over, the criminal case is still pending and faces postponement after postponement. Until that case is finished there will be no closure for the family.
We believe no family should have to endure the abuse from CPS. Yes, there are abusive parents in the world, but far too many children are being removed from families with the end result being severance and adoption. The trauma to the family and children cannot be fully appreciated by anyone who has not experienced it firsthand.
The best way to describe this situation is a quote another parent said during a parenting class:
“It’s like you are dealing with a hostage taking situation
Where you are trying to negotiate the safe return of your children
From the hostage takers”
We made a commitment to not just become angry victims of the system. We decided to use our case and the stories of others to make positive changes. It is a huge undertaking and one that will take time. But if people do nothing and remain silent the abuse will continue and the agency will continue to grow, destroying more children and families in its wake.
We cannot remain silent!
What topics will be covered in this series?
We will take you through the aspects of a real CPS case through our own experience, from the initial removal of the children, the courts, foster care, services and the reunification process. We will tell you about the corruption we witnessed during our case. We will even cover the Youth Adult Program and an incarcerated child while in the hands of foster care/CPS.
We believe sharing our story will help educate and bring light to a problem that has long been ignored.
We learned like far too many families too late. We weren’t prepared at the beginning of the case. What we thought were protected rights under the constitution we quickly discovered weren’t in family court.
Maybe we can help families take the steps to avoid a CPS call. Maybe we can help families through the difficult months ahead after a CPS call. Perhaps we can even convince our legislators to make meaningful reforms to CPS to provide protections to those children who need it while providing services and assistance to those in trouble. We hope to reduce the number of victims of the system; those children ripped from the hands of their family, placed in foster care, with half placed up for adoption.
Throughout the series we will be asking for your help. It may be to share your story with us, to attend an event, or to make phone calls to your legislators.
Next week we will be discussing how CPS became the problem it is today and how we can help protect our children.