CPS parental visitation flap: KGUN9 viewers sound off, point fingers
An empty waiting room at Aviva tells the tale of cancelled parental visits over the holidays.
Notes and commentary by: Forrest Carr, KGUN9 News Director
KGUN9 viewers have plenty to say in the wake of 9 On Your Side's latest revelations in CPS's parental visitation foul-up. The fingers of blame are pointing, but not in any one direction.
To recap the story so far:
-- CPS suddenly cut off money for supervised child visitation services over the holidays. Panicked parents contacted 9 On Your Side. CPS explained that because of money problems, it was taking those services in house. The agency promised nothing would change.
-- When 9 On Your Side uncovered a case worker's phone message that told a far different story, CPS stuck to its statement that nothing had changed.
-- A few days later, CPS announced that it would reverse the funding cut, chalking it all up to a mysterious "misunderstanding."
-- CPS officials refused to explain themselves on camera, choosing instead to hide behind a brief, vague written statement.
-- When 9 On Your Side persisted, Clarence Carter, the administrator who oversees CPS, sent word that he would not be available to KGUN9 for an interview. Ever.
-- In this week's 9 On Your Side's investigation, internal CPS documents revealed a trail of missed cues, ignored warnings and broken promises.
-- In a follow-up story, an affected mother -- who's so freaked out about the possibility of CPS retaliation that she asked for us not to reveal her name -- told 9 On Your Side that CPS has cut her visitations by more than half. So much for the promise that "nothing had changed."
In the wake of the latest 9 On Your Side revelations, some viewers blame CPS, some blame the parents, some blame both and some simply do not care.
Here's a sample of the commentary:
David Garza: "These 'parents' have no right to complain! If they would not have had their kids taken away, they would not be in this situation! Quit using drugs, drinking, beating each other and your kids! It really is not that hard!"
Bryan Cassell (in response to Garza): "It's sad how little you understand about the situation. Anyone can anonymously report anyone for child neglect. And when CPS investigates, if there's any glimmer of a chance, no matter how remote, that they can successfully take your kid after a three day custody hold, they will. The odds of a successful reunification after that are essentially nonexistent. The more kids they take, the more federal money the state receives. It boils down to legalized kidnapping. I hope it never happens to you, David. The pain it causes is unreal and completely indescribable."
Vanessa Salinas: "These people had a problem with trying to find homes for some of these kids and now they can't fund visitations for parents. Could this be money laundering? CPS is literally a joke. Instead of taking kids from homes, why don't they try to find better solutions to help those families?"
Pima Baca Sparky: "Instead of blaming CPS, how about putting the blame where it belongs, on the parents. Let's stop with the BS rhetoric and do something about parenting. Let's look at protecting the children not only when it's convenient for political gain."
Paige Simister (in response to Sparky): "Can you honestly say that these children are better off in CPS care?? We should be able to have faith in these government agencies, but time & time again these things happen, and 'Oops! Its no big deal. Just the system failing again.' Absolutely pathetic.... Has the system ever worked for the people? Just curious."
Chuck Downs: "We complain about them, but for these children it would be even better is there was no need for departments like CPS in the first place."
Kara Harris: "The problem is CPS can do whatever they like and even if they have GOOD foster parents they mistreat them. They persecute the wrong people (sometimes the parents) and cost Arizonians millions of dollars. They are subjective, not objective. It always depends on WHO they LIKE and WHO they don't. It's all about the money with these Nazi like people who trample constitutional rights all the time."
Vanessa Salinas: "CPS is pathetic. They take away people's kids and then they do S*** like this. They don't give the parents who are trying to do right a chance. I think some people should be fired and replaced. These people are like a pack of wolves hovering over their prey."
Marissa Garica: "CPS is all lies of every ethic background, and is bullying physically and mentally disabled parents...."
Roxane Lord: "I'm so tired of hearing about these poor parents. Who put their kids in the system in the first place? They did. If CPS and the judges would hold these parents more responsible and make them pay child support and pay for their services, maybe there wouldn't be money issues."
Michael Ramirez: "You either abused your child, neglected your child, or helped these things fall upon your child -- and you have the right to complain about not being able to see your child? BS. I know that CPS is trying to handle the extreme case loads and more money was allocated by state to do this. Bring the problem of budget cuts to the forefront, not complaints from parents that shouldn't even be in that situation in the first place."
Gabriel M Morales: "CPS is the biggest group of liars along with foster care agencies. On the other hand -- parents, don't be crackheads and get your kids taken. CPS loves to take kids away and foster parents love to make money off them."
Mary Smith: "HELLO-CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES IS RUN THROUGH LEGISLATION CREATED BY OUR ELECTED OFFICIALS! If you think this is a disaster-then take a stand and change who you're voting for. Then maybe, just maybe, things might change. If our legislature is not allocating nearly enough money towards CPS, then it is unreasonable that CPS goes above and beyond mandatory requirements seeing that it is almost unfeasible to balance the duties they have. Perhaps Kgun 9 should attempt to contact our legislators as to why so much money is spent on senseless things but not our children-our future generation. Or , possibly contact a specialist at CPS to see what it is like for a day in the life of a worker. Unless you know what goes on behind closed doors, then don't be so quick to pass judgment."
To Mary's point -- Mary, KGUN9 has contacted many legislators. See our previous coverage. As for interviewing a CPS specialist -- we would absolutely love to do that. But CPS is not allowing us access. Every time we contact anyone at CPS, our inquiry gets routed automatically to an official spokesperson. We recently wrote about CPS's camera-ducking ways -- click this link for more.
KGUN9 welcomes viewer opinions on this or any story we cover. You can post your comments at the bottom of any story on KGUN9.com, or on our Facebook page.