Arizona foster-care numbers rose over decade, as national numbers fell

Advocates hold photos of foster children during an April 2013 rally af the Arizona State Courts bulding in Phoenix. WASHINGTON – Arizona saw the number of kids in its foster care system rise significantly from 2002-2012, a time when most other states were posting sharp drops in their foster care rolls, according to new federal data.

The report by the Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families said Arizona was one of 11 states with an increase in foster children and one of only two – along with Texas – with significant increases.

Arizona had the second-largest increase in the nation over the decade, adding 7,296 children to Texas’ 8,294. There were 15,751 foster kids in Arizona at the end of March, according to the latest numbers from the state.

Advocates said the numbers are more evidence of a state foster care system in crisis, one that has been “overworked and overwhelmed” as budgets have been cut.

“There was a perfect storm of things – the recession hit, the budget cuts had to be made and so more kids were coming in to care,” said Russ Funk, director of marketing and family recruitment at Aid to Adoption of Special Kids.

State officials said there is no one reason for the increase, but expressed confidence that recent improvements will have an effect.

After reports in late 2013 that more than 6,000 foster-care cases had not been investigated, Gov. Jan Brewer created a Child Advocate Response Examination (CARE) Team of lawmakers, advocates and state officials to oversee those cases and monitor Child Protective Services.

And the Legislature this spring voted to give oversight of the state’s foster care system to a new Department of Child Safety.

Jennifer Bowser, a spokeswoman for the new department, said she has seen improvements made “all over the place” to the state’s child care system since the agency’s creation.

Bowser said the state is revamping its training process for caseworkers, has reviewed legislation for additional staffing and is making significant progress on backlogged cases.

The 15,751 children in out-of-home care this March represented an increase of 714 children from the previous year, according to the state.

While the state is attempting to improve the child protective services system and provide more preventive services, families are still faced with challenges that put them in difficult situations – situations that can lead to their children being placed in foster care.

“There are a variety of different reasons that children become neglected or put at risk of being neglected when their parents are struggling,” Funk said.

Beth Rosenberg, director of child welfare and juvenile justice at Children’s Action Alliance, said the increases are occurring because of a system that has been “overworked and overwhelmed.”

“We were bringing more kids in to the system than the kids were leaving the system,” she said.

Funk said a prime factor for the surge of children in the Arizona foster care system was budget cuts during the recession that led to reductions in preventive services, such as parenting skill workshops and addiction rehab support.

And while the system was gaining kids, Funk said, there are “fewer caseworkers handling more cases with less services in place to help return those children” to their families.

Bowser agreed that socioeconomic challenges and substance-abuse issues could make it more likely that a child is removed from his or her home.

“If we can provide more prevention services – early intervention services – the hope is to not have the children need to be removed,” she said.

Arizona CPS Exposed – Arizona Creates the Department of Child Safety aka CPS

This week the Arizona legislator passed both bills to create the new Department of Child Safety as well as funding for the operations.

This week at the legislature

This week the Arizona legislature convened for a special session called by the governor to address the issues with CPS. The results were disappointing but not unexpected.

The focus of this session was to pass the bills to create the new CPS system, now called the Department of Child Safety or DCS. People need to understand that CPS is not abolished. It was simply moved out of the Department of Economic Security (DES) and now is a stand alone department that reports directly to the governor. The legislation proposed this week was to make that temporary change a permanent one.

Unfortunately the media coming from all sources was ready to paint any legislator who was not in support of the bill as someone who didn’t care about the safety of children. The bills passed.

They passed one bill to supply the funding for the new agency. The second bill was to create the new structure for DCS and change the wording in the current legislation to reflect the name change. If you review the 218 page bill, there were very little changes other than 13-14 pages addressing the new structure.

If you listened to those speaking on behalf of the new department you would believe that vast changes are taking place and that an independent oversight committee was established to make sure DCS was following the laws. This isn’t quite accurate.

The foundation for the new department was created. The majority of changes discussed during the committee meetings was more Director Flanagan’s vision for the new agency. The problem is as directors change and the governor’s change the policies become whatever those in charge decide they should be. This can be a problem moving forward.

Did the legislative process go as it should or as anticipated?

It is really disappointing when our state government runs similar to our federal government. The state requires all bills to be posted by 4:00pm in order to be heard in committee the next day. This allows for the people to read the bill and submit comments or prepare to speak. Unfortunately the Senate bill SB1001 was not published until around 4:30pm and we have no idea what time SB1002 for funding was actually published.

We heard that while the legislators were all called into session on Tuesday, the bills weren’t finished. They were still writing them on Tuesday!

Then in order to accomplish what they wanted in the timeframe they expected, the legislature had to suspend the rules in order to have the committees hear the bills, despite the fact that they were not published in time. These are tricks which results in limiting comments or questions about the bills.

To further the issue, the House committee that had been dealing with the CPS issues all last session was Health and Human Services. We had been working with a number of legislators on this committee, so many of them were familiar with our report as well as our concerns. On Tuesday rather than having Health and Human Services hear HB1001, it was instead given to Public Safety. We only found out about it at the last minute.

Were you able to attend any of the hearings or speak at any of them?

We were able to attend a portion of the Senate Appropriations Hearing as well as a portion of the House Public Safety Hearing.

We did attend the full Senate Health and Human Services Committee hearing and we were able to speak.

We listened to Director Flanagan’s vision of CPS, now DCS. He has some good ideas and he does understand some of the issues. However, if he doesn’t listen to the parents and families affected by CPS and the removal of children he will fail to provide corrective action that will result in positive reforms. So there is still the potential of creating a more abusive agency.

However, after everyone gave their positive spin presentations and others made supportive comments, I was able to give my testimony. During the testimony even I heard gasps from those in the audience from what I said. Some of the legislators understood and were sympathetic to what families have had to go through.

What did take place that was very positive to our cause was Rep. Ableser who spoke up in the understanding of our issues and stated he has received a number of calls from constituents with similar issues. We are not alone and he knows that.

More important was that the chair of the committee, Sen. Nancy Barto, also spoke up and voiced similar concerns to ours – that the new legislation doesn’t have any teeth. So we got this on official record as well as statements from the committee that this is only a foundations and there is still work to be done.

Did our listeners calls make any difference?

Absolutely! Even though we didn’t get the results we would have liked, we heard over and over from legislators on the committees to others we spoke with that they have received numerous calls with concerns about CPS and the out-of-control agency it has become. Those on the committees acknowledged these calls and concerns from constituents and voiced them on the record. They were listening!

That might not sound like a lot right now, but if you were at the committee meetings numerous times legislators presented questions, especially to Director Flanagan, from people like you.

Did anything else come from this process?

Some positive things came from what happened this week.

Director Flanagan heard our testimony in the Senate hearing, he was there, he heard the gasps from the audience. He was disappointed that someone spoke out against the bill as written. They didn’t expect anyone to take a negative stand, especially on record on the floor.

This resulted in Director Flanagan actually asking to speak with us after the last session. We spoke with him briefly and he knows he has work to do to gain the support from the public, especially those who have been harmed by CPS in the past. We gave him a copy of our 53 page report and he has promised to read the report and get back to us with a response. He is also open to speaking with us in the future. If he is true to his word, then he will reach out and listen to families like ours and people who are trying to make meaningful reforms to protect children, but also to prohibit abuse from the system;

We met with even more legislators which permitted us to make them more aware of the problems within the CPS agency. It isn’t just bad parents. It is about an agency that has not been following the law.

We also made contacts and have referrals to legislators willing to work with us to create legislation. These contacts are important and we hope to work with them over the next couple of months to draft legislation that will make the necessary changes and hold the agency accountable.

We also challenged legislator’s knowledge of the bill. Everyone believes that there is an oversight of the agency through a Community Advisory Committee. Here’s what the committee is and the members of the committee:

A. The Community Advisory Committee is established to provide a community forum:

  1. To inform the department, analyze current law and policy and make recommendations to improve the ability of the department to increase the safety of children, respond to child maltreatment and ensure the well-being of and timely permanency for children who are referred to and involved in the child welfare system.
  2. For the collaboration among state, local, community, public and private stakeholders in child welfare programs and services that are administered by the department.
  3. To improve communication between mandatory reports and the department.

B. The committee consists of one representative of each of the following who is appointed by and services at the pleasure of the director:

  1. Child welfare agencies that directly provide contracted services to children and their families
  2. Child advocacy organizations that deal with child welfare system policy issues
  3. Current or former foster or adoptive parents
  4. Medical providers, with a preference for pediatricians, who have experience in diagnosing and treating injuries related to abuse and neglect
  5. Volunteers with foster care review board or court appointed special advocate program
  6. Persons with an academic appointment to a state university who conduct research in child welfare services, child maltreatment or child abuse
  7. The courts. The representative must be involved in child welfare issues
  8. A rural area in this state who has experience in the child welfare system
  9. A Native American tribe or nation who has experience in the child welfare system
  10. A child advocacy organization that advocates for or represents children who are victims of crime
  11. Persons who have experience with children with special needs and the child welfare system
  12. A law enforcement agency. The representative must have experience with the department on cases that involved criminal conduct allegations.

Where are the families or parents represented in this committee? Where is the voice to report when the agency or it’s service providers fails to uphold the law or violates the law?

Once again it isn’t there. THAT is what we must change!

What can we do next?

We need to get to good legislators elected that understand the problems with CPS/DCS. Do they want to expand the agency and give them more power? Are they just giving the politically correct answer of “it’s to protect the children,” or “child safety.” Do they understand the issue from the family’s perspective? Do they understand the abuse FROM the agency? Those are the questions you need to be asking in your district.

If you live in LD28 it is important to remove Kate Brophy-McGee from office and replace her with someone who will actually listen to the constituents. She refused to meet with us to discuss the CPS issue, even though we live in her district. These are our elected officials, so even if they may not agree with your position on an issue, it is still their responsibility to at least hear from their constituents.

Shawnna Bolick is running against her and has been very instrumental in helping us raise the awareness of the problem to legislators. We need someone in the legislature who will listen.

Kelli Ward in LD5 in the Senate was helpful in getting us on the floor to speak. She also seems to understand the issue. She was the only dissenting vote on the appropriations bill. She didn’t want to give them all the money at one time and instead wanted DCS to meet benchmarks before obtaining additional funding.

Ed Ableser in LD26 in the Senate was very sympathetic to my testimony as well as those families that have had to face a CPS case. He wanted to get a definition and clarification of neglect, and he understands neglect is one the reasons CPS has used to remove children. He also offered an amendment to change the name of the bill to include “family preservation.”

Nancy Barto in LD15 in the Senate, and chairman of the Health and Human Services Committee also understands the issue and acknowledges that this is only the beginning. Listen to her opening remarks during the committee hearing, which is posted on our website. Sen. Barto also met with us prior during the regular legislative session.

David Bradley LD10, however believes CPS is the child’s savior, based on his comments made during the Senate hearing. He formerly worked for CPS. He did not appear to understand the issue from the family perspective.

Carl Seel in LD20 in the House, has been very supportive and has helped throughout the entire session deliver our message to other members. He understands the issue as well the constitutional implications of the agency’s policies. Carl is also a voice on the House floor who wants answers.

REMEMBER, this is only one issue in the state but one we are all obviously passionate about. Before making a decision on how to vote in the primary in August, contact the candidates and ask them questions. We are not endorsing any candidates but are just reporting which ones have been supportive  or unsupportive about the CPS issue.

This is only the beginning as we reach out to legislators in the upcoming months.

Next week’s show

Next week we will continue to discuss the CPS topics and what you can do to protect your family.

Sources and Links:

Senate Health and Human Services Committee Hearing

Department of Child Safety SB1001 – New bill (signed by governor)

 

Australia – 14,000 stolen children – today

The Prime Ministerial Apology to the Stolen Generations was delivered on February 13, 2008 but this photo was taken in October 2008 at Old Tent Embassy - Photo by Gerry Georgatos

The Prime Ministerial Apology to the Stolen Generations was delivered on February 13, 2008 but this photo was taken in October 2008 at Old Tent Embassy - Photo by Gerry Georgatos

Former Government worker for the NSW Department of Families and Communities, Debra Swan on National Sorry Day joined one of the 15 protests happening across the continent to not only remember the Stolen Generations but to point out that they are continuing. In NSW, one in 9 Aboriginal children is ripped from their families into “out of home care”.

Ms Swan said, “I have seen the injustice, and how unfair this system is, with my own eyes.”

According to Ms Swan, “Too often, removals happen without any consultation. Parents come into the office frustrated and angry, as anyone would be after having their children ripped away from them.”

“They are then written off even further, branded ‘non-compliant’ or ‘aggressive’.”

“The Children’s Court system is stacked against Aboriginal people. I have seen too many solicitors who have no idea what they are doing, or just push our people to go along with the demands of the Department.”

“Parents are told that unless they agree to orders, they will be denied any access to their children.”

“Justice Woods did his Royal Commission into Child Protection and he said that Aboriginal are removed from their families for much less than what are non-Aboriginal children.”

“I have seen the biases, the discrimination, the prejudices, the drive to assimilate Aboriginal people. Towards the end of my time there, my eyes opened up to them and especially after I left I realised how they assimilate us, the Aboriginal workers.”

“The Department may say it has cultural education of its staff but that is not true. What they really have is an ulterior white picket fence vision for everyone. They disregard the fact that Aboriginal cultures are not about white picket fences. They disregard our definitions of family. We are not into nuclear families with mum and dad alone at the top. In Aboriginal families there is the whole village, there are the mum and dad but also the aunties and uncles, the grannies and granddads.”

Audio news with Debra Swan here:

More audio news with Debra Swan here:

A Department of Child Protection worker in Perth, who is Aboriginal confided, “They do not even consult us as Aboriginal workers about Aboriginal families. They dismiss us, if we speak up we are shuffled out.”

“The Department is about their line, and their line is a about the White workers making all the calls. We, as Black workers are only in there to make up the numbers on the book, to cover their backs that there is equality, but there is not. Child Protection is racist, because it is all assimilation and doing as they say; you speak up as a worker and you’re out of line.”

“We have no choice but to tell our people to bow down, to keep quiet, to not piss off the White workers or they’ll be tarnished as ‘aggressive’.  That they will lose all hope of being with their children. And the Childrens Court doesn’t listen to families, only to the White workers and the DCP legal team who treat kids and families like they’re a dime a dozen.”

“Why are kids being removed at record rates? It’s not because of neglect, it’s not because of a lack of love, it’s because they are seen as not assimilating.”

But many First Peoples live culturally different lives to the rest of the Australian population. There are effectively two cultural systems on this continent – Western-based cultures and First Peoples-based cultures and they clash, that is where the majority Western-based cultures attempt to dominate them and demand assimilation.

Indigenous Social Justice Association President, Ray Jackson was himself a removed child during the Second World War. “My White father was killed on the Kokoda Trail and instead of my Aboriginal mother being supported with a war pension, her reward was to have me taken away from her.”

“The pain of being removed never leaves you, not for the child or the parent.”

Mr Jackson, like Ms Swan, argues that there are two different cultural systems on this continent that can coexist but that the Western-based cultural majority does not let this happen and instead pushes its assimilation.

“They push on us the white picket fence, well our culture does not care about a white picket fence. Child Protection workers do not look at whether there’s love in the family or respect for one another, or how to help a family that needs a helping hand.”

Child Protection workers come into homes and judge hygiene by how polished a home is, well it’s not our way to be slaves to how shiny a home should be.”

“They look at whether the children are wearing shoes, and if they’re not then they jot on their report sheets that they are not taken care of; well we may like to be barefoot as often as we can. But if they’ve got a problem with shoes, and we don’t have shoes, well don’t take away the children, just bloody well give them a pair of shoes,” said Mr Jackson.

University of Sydney Technology Jumbunna House senior researcher, Paddy Gibson, now living in the Northern Territory, is angry that more Aboriginal children have been removed from their families today than at any time in Australia’s history.

The Northern Territory Children Commissioner’s annual report showed that in the year to June 30, 2013, more than five times more Aboriginal children than non-Aboriginal children were removed from their families. Mr Gibson said that the predominant reason given for this was ‘neglect’, not physical or sexual abuse. But as a researcher myself, I have long argued that the ‘neglect’ has to be articulated. What do they mean by ‘neglect’?

Mr Gibson said that “too often we are seeing Aboriginal cultural practices themselves being classified as neglect.” In other words their Aboriginality is being held against them, their historical and cultural identities are liabilities.

Mr Gibson said that it costs up to $300 per night to keep a single child in care but that this is misspending when funds could have been diverted to families to relieve impoverishment.

Northern Territorian Elder Barbara Shaw said, “There are strong Aboriginal people in all communities who badly need resources and support to help deal with the issues facing our families and to keep our kids safe in their culture.”

“We are all part of extended kinship networks. There is always somewhere they can turn without removing children, but resources and support need to be on the table.”

In the Northern Territory, 70 per cent of the children removed from their families are placed with non-Aboriginal families, usually hundreds of kilometres away, making it near impossible for reunification. And there are those who have said that many of these children are being taken by families who they themselves do it for the quid on offer, and for the effective indenture of the children as domestics. These claims need to be investigated.

“People need to come forward and tell their stories, so australia at large can feel the effect of what is happening to the families that are being destroyed, the families that are disempowered. I urge everyone to come forward despite that they may feel they will be threatened further by the Department,” said Gunnedah Grandmother, Auntie Hazel Collins.

Audio news with Auntie Hazel Collins here:

More audio news with Auntie Hazel Collins here:

Some believe that a class action by thousands of families will be the only way forward, to shift our not so bright parliamentarians into action, to put in place legislation that restricts the Child Protection agencies from ripping children from their families other than for reasons of obvious physical violence and life-threatening neglect, not because of hearsay, or because parents were angry when confronted by Child Protection – not because of non-compliance, and not because they do not wear shoes. Poverty must never be used to condemn families as criminals nor should the rejection of a Western-based culture be judged as a crime.

The Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuses by Churches and Orphanages is dealing with less victims than would a Royal Commission into Child Protection – which would be dealing with nearly 100,000 victims since 1930 to today, children ruthlessly stolen from their parents, many from the delivery table of hospital birth rooms. More children have been removed in the last year than there are victims before the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuses. The trauma of the Sexual Abuses victims is heart-wrenching and for far too many irreparable. Imagine then the numbers of victims, the children removed from families, today, the trauma, the multiple trauma, the irreparable damage. Who is responsible? The Australian Government is – and they should be indicted. But if the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuses is anything to go by, an effectively impotent exercise, then there is no light in sight at the end of the tunnel for the victims of this generation of stealing.

On Sorry Day, many gathered around the nation to protest and call for an end to the stealing of children. In Brisbane, the Department of Child Protection closed its offices for the day because of the protest on its steps. In Sydney, the Department of Families and Communities kept its workers inside, not a whimper as the rally lasted more than two hours on its steps. In the capital of Australia’s backwater of racism, Perth, a protest took place outside the Department of Child Protection. A delegation from the rally met with the Department of Child Protection. Police were called in when the protesters ceremonially danced out the front – unbelievably police arrested three of the protesters, who included organisers of the rally, Vanessa Culbong and Len Culbong. How sickening to arrest people calling for an end to child removals. The police did not have to do this, but they did. It does not wash that “I was only doing my job.”

The racism that is Australian born and bred cannot be allowed to continue – a racism that now sees one in every two Aboriginal children in Queensland known to the Department of Child Protection. More Queensland Aboriginal children are in the custody of the State today than were removed between 1908 to 1971.

One protester said, “My grandmother and her sisters were taken in the 1930s, her daughter, my mother was taken, then they took me from my mum, now they have taken my children. I never did anything wrong. I love my children. They screamed when they took them.”

Video of the rally and the arrests of Len and Vanessa Culbong

A version of this column originally appeared in:

House Ways and Means Committee Discusses Obama Plan on Psychotropics on Foster children

The House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Human Resources heard testimony yesterday on the disproportionate use of psychotropic medications on foster youths, and the president’s $750 million proposal to address the issue.

The hearing yesterday was spurred along by the presence of a celebrity witness, talk show host “Dr. Phil” McGraw.

“These drugs can change and even save lives,” McGraw told the committee. But with foster youths, they are “too often misused as chemical straitjackets,” prescribed to mitigate “undesirable behavior” and make foster youths “less inconvenient.”

The use of psychotropics on foster youths has received attention from several corners in both houses of Congress and the White House in recent months. President Barack Obama proposed in his fiscal 2015 budget a $750 million, 10-year plan to help states develop different ways to address mental health challenges among foster youths.

Last week, Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee said the committee plans to “play offense” on what Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) called “mind-bending drugs.”

Youth-Shadow-Day_0

Ways and Means leadership from both parties asserted an interest in addressing the issue. “This is a bipartisan issue,” said Subcommittee Chairman David Reichert, “We are together on this.”

A 2011 law shepherded through Ways and Means required states to share their prescription and monitoring protocols with the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), a division of the Department of Health and Human Services.

“Everyone agrees that these drugs are flowing too much,” McGraw said. “The real question is, why? Why is this happening?”

The president’s proposal is a two-pronged plan that focuses mostly on building the ability of states to treat foster youths without psychotropic drugs – or at least with less drugs – and then rewarding states for lowering reliance on the drugs.

The first part is a $50 million a year, five-year investment by the Administration for Children and Families (ACF). That mandatory spending would “encourage the use of evidence-based screening, assessment and treatment of trauma and mental health disorders” among foster youth.

The second part is a $500 million Medicaid demonstration program that would provide performance-based Medicaid incentive payments to improve care coordination and delivery of evidence-based services for foster youth.

One key element of those demonstrations would be improved collaboration between child welfare and health services agencies.

“You’d think that child welfare and mental health systems would work together a lot; you’d be very wrong,” said Dr. Michael Naylor, who helps lead a medication oversight partnership between the University of Illinois-Chicago and the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.

ACF official Joo Yuen Chang testified that the agency found a services gap as it engaged more local systems about psychiatric medications.

“Child welfare agencies did not have access to the research-based, non-pharmacological, mental health treatments for the conditions for which many of these children were being medicated,” Chang said at the hearing.

The Dr. Phil Foundation is one of the 110 organizations to sign a letter in support of the Obama proposal, which ranking minority member Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas) introduced for the record.

But McGraw also suggested a more nefarious reason for overreliance on medications.

“It’s pay for pathology,” said McGraw, who is also a spokesman for Court Appointed Special Advocates. “More prescriptions, less treatment. More prescriptions, less treatment. These children deserve better than that.”

Read More at: House Ways and Means Committee Discusses Obama Plan on Psychotropics | The Chronicle of Social Change:

 

A version of this column originally appeared in:

Today at the Arizona Legislature

1401229184000-arizona-capitolThe Senate Appropriations Committee passed SB1002 to fund the new Department of Child Safety (CPS).

The Senate Health & Human Services Committee passed SB1001, with amendments from Ed Ableser (changing the purpose of DCS) and Nancy Barto (technical issues) creating the new Department of Child Safety.

In the House the Health & Human Services Committee had been the committee to work with the CPS issue. Today, Speaker of the House Andy Tobin changed the committee to Public Safety to vote on the current bill and move it out of committee. This committee has not been the committee addressing CPS during this past session. The Public Safety Committee passed HB2001 creating the new Department of Child Safety.

The House Appropriations Committee passed HB2002 to fund the new Department of Child Safety CPS).

We gave testimony in the Senate Health & Human Services Committee today. It did raise questions among committee members. It made enough of an impact that Director Flanagan approached us after the House session in order to speak with us. He has promised to read our 53 page report and respond to it.

Legislators in the Senate Health & Human Services Committee that were receptive and seemed to understand the issue from the family’s perspective were Sen. and Chairwoman Nancy Barto, Sen. Kelli Ward and Sen. Ed Ableser. The one legislator that believes CPS “saves” children is Sen. David Bradley, a former CPS employee.

While both the appropriations bill and the bill to create the new department are expected to pass tomorrow without any problems, our work is not done.

The new department is only the foundation of the new agency. There is much work to be done to get meaningful legislation before the next session in January to fix the problems within CPS that are leading to the number of children being removed from families. Many legislators understand the problem and are reaching out to us to continue working on the problem.

Director Flanagan gave an extension presentation on the new structure of CPS, policy changes, efforts to reach out to community resources, and a commitment to work on prevention so removal may not be necessary. He expressed an understanding that removal of the child from the family is not always necessary and not always in the best interest of the child. While much of it sounded good, little of it is written in the legislation making it agency policy and procedures only. With a different direct this could mean huge problems in the future. Another concern was his definition of abuse and neglect.

A good foundation was laid out today to continue our fight to improve the CPS system.

Shawnna Bolick has been extremely supportive of our efforts. We met with her for 2 hours last week to discuss CPS. Today she helped facilitate meetings for us with legislators. Shawnna is running for the House in LD28 against Kate Brophy-McGee.

Kelli Ward made sure we knew about the session today and helped us get on the floor to speak.

We want to thank the people who called or emailed their House and Senate members. Many of the legislators today expressed the concerns brought up from these conversations. They are listening.

We want to thank everyone who helped us get our voice heard.

footer