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(844) 627-8267 | Info@NationalCyberSecurity

Arizona to review adoptions, guardianships | #childsafety | #kids | #chldern | #parents | #schoolsafey

A flaw in a system used by the Department of Child Safety has let judges make decisions on removing children from homes without having all the information they needed, state officials have discovered.

And now Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes will review more than 650 closed cases to see if any of the documents that were not disclosed would have changed the outcome.

That raises the question of whether any of the court decisions about terminating parental rights, guardianships or adoptions will be overturned.

“I think it would depend on the circumstances in the case,” said David Lujan, DCS’s new director.

But even if DCS did not directly provide the documents to the parties — like the parents involved — the chances are good they got them through other means, like subpoenas to the private providers who prepared them for DCS in the first place, he told Capitol Media Services on Monday.

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The closed cases may only be part of the problem.

Kristen Wright, an assistant attorney general, is sending letters today to the presiding judges in all 15 counties asking that they suspend action on all pending cases for the next two weeks while her office and DCS determine what records may be missing.

“Our preliminary assessment of the situation has determined that a minimum of 3,800 juvenile dependency cases statewide may be impacted,” wrote Wright, the chief counsel of the Child and Family Division of the Attorney General’s Office.

The problem is with a system put in place by DCS two years ago to track all documents.

Known as Guardian, it was billed as a better solution than CHILDS, the Children’s Information Library and Data Source, first used in 1997. The department found various problems, such as limited reporting capabilities and poor data quality, with the former system.

The new system had some of its own bumps, including delays in payments to foster parents.

But what Lujan has now discovered has much more serious implications.

This is a breaking news story that will be updated.

Get your morning recap of today’s local news and read the full stories here: http://tucne.ws/morning

Howard Fischer is a veteran journalist who has been reporting since 1970 and covering state politics and the Legislature since 1982. Follow him on Twitter at @azcapmedia or email azcapmedia@gmail.com. 


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