PHOENIX - A committee formed more than a year ago to oversee Arizona’s troubled welfare agency met for the first time in a meeting that lasted over three hours on Thursday.
The committee heard presentations from several areas of Child Protective Services including foster care and the newly formed Office of Child Welfare Investigations (OCWI).
OCWI Chief Gregory McKay outlined his department’s responsibilities, along with their successes and challenges due to staffing restraints over the past year.
McKay, a Phoenix police detective who has worked many of Phoenix’s notorious child crimes including the death of Amy Deal, made several recommendations including equipping CPS case workers with recording devices and cameras.
McKay told the committee many of the photos taken on camera phones are inadmissible in court.
Cameras and recording devices that will document child abuse and interviews would help in charging and prosecuting more abusers, McKay said.
McKay also showed pictures of how detectives have been able to quickly assess a child’s injury as abuse and not an accident as parents or guardians sometimes claim.
The oversight committee includes DES Director Clarence Carter, Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery , several lawmakers, child advocates and a former foster child who is now a foster mother.
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