Arizona CPS update: Former Child Protective Services worker says entire system is broken

PHOENIX - Some former Child Protective Services workers are not surprised to see the system being questioned after last week's revelation that 6,000 potential child abuse cases went uninvestigated over the course of four years.

ABC15 spoke with one former CPS worker who says the issues are much deeper. She says it's time to look at the entire system.

Lisa Stinchcomb spent five years with CPS from 1996 to 2001. She remembers a lot of cases like they happened yesterday.

"I can't even describe to you what I've seen human beings do to their children. And those cases are taken very, very seriously," she said.

She keeps in close contact with current workers.

After talking to them, she believes few of the 6,000 cases in question were serious enough to warrant immediate investigations.

"In that group of reports, so many of them are custody disputes or family disputes with each other, wanting to call reports in on each other," Stinchcomb said.

Either way, She believes CPS needs big changes.

"As a community we need to not jump over, 'it's such a bad agency, they haven't done their job' into 'how can we fix the agency?'" she said.

Stinchcomb says it all starts with taking care of the caseworkers who are on the ground every day.

"I know that they do not have the resources to do the job correctly. And until the community demands that resources be placed into CPS, it's going to remain broken," she said.

Lisa says lawmakers need to make protecting Arizona's children a bigger priority by increasing funding and paying caseworkers more.

"It is like fighting war in our own country every single day. These investigators are fighting a war in our backyard," she said.

Lisa believes the accountability falls on lawmakers who are responsible for the funding at CPS.

She says the best way for them to understand how much funding is really needed would be to shadow a caseworker for a full week.

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