Monday, August 3, 2020

NCCPR in the Arizona Republic: Arizona DCS has a bigger problem than those who wore 'professional kidnapper' shirts

Arizona removes far too many kids from their homes, causing trauma without gains in safety. Why are we surprised that fired workers bragged about it?

In a courthouse far from Arizona, a 7-year-old girl, still traumatized from being taken from her family and placed in foster care, turns to her lawyer and asks: "Can I have that quarter? I am saving all the change I find on the ground and keeping it with me. If they ever kidnap me and my brothers again, I can take a cab back home to mommy."

I thought of that little girl when I read Mary Jo Pitzl’s story about the state Department of Child Services caseworkers in Prescott who apparently were fired for wearing T-shirts emblazoned with the words “Professional Kidnappers.”

Clearly, that little girl understands the child welfare system better than most of the professionals who work in it.

The caseworkers were not really fired for their sentiments or for acting on them. They were fired because they were dumb enough to literally wear those sentiments on their sleeves. We know this because the numbers from Prescott and across Arizona back up their bragging.

Read the full column here.