Arizona state lawmaker Leah Landrum Taylor calls for Child Protective Services reform

PHOENIX - An Arizona state lawmaker is proposing a complete overhaul of the state's Child Protective Services agency.

Democratic Senator Leah Landrum Taylor, who also sits on the committee that oversees CPS, says they need to look at a better system to protect Arizona's most vulnerable.

"There is going to be a lot of discussion. Do we need to make CPS it's own agency? I think we should talk about that. It should be considered. But not until this immediate problem is fixed," said Landrum Taylor.

The senator wants the department to finish looking into the remainder of the 6,000 complaints of abuse and neglect and she wants to make sure any children who slipped through the cracks are safe.

CPS assigned a "SWAT" group to review every case. 

According to a DES spokesman, most of the staff on the team are Level IV specialists who have experience in child welfare investigations and have held a supervisory position.

Currently there are 42 members on the SWAT team statewide. A spokesperson says many have been with the agency for more than five years and they review anywhere from 70 to 100 cases a day.

"The need to be working around the clock, no breaks, to find out if these kids are okay," said Landrum Taylor.

Once the investigation is complete, she's hoping to hold the people responsible for the mistake accountable for their actions.

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