Valley group asks for more money to help Child Protective Services

PHOENIX - Child advocacy groups rallied at the State Capitol Tuesday afternoon.

They want Governor Jan Brewer to move forward with her $77 million budget proposal for Child Protective Services.

The money would allow for 200 additional CPS staff members, temporary foster care and residential placements, legal support, parent aide and child care services for abused and neglected children.

According to CPS, case workers get 20 new cases a week. In 2012, they saw a 16% increase in the number of cases.

While more workers will allow social workers to spend more time with children, foster mom Mimi Condon says that's not enough.

"They can always do better. There needs to be more accountability," said Condon.

Condon has been fostering kids since 2006. She says one of her foster children was killed after the child was returned to her parents.

"It was awful, getting that phone call," said Condon.

While she believes the caseworker is not to blame in this particular case, she says the length of time families are monitored during the reunification process needs to be extended.

"Right now, it takes three months before a case is closed. Most kids are abused within the year," said Condon.

She also wants CPS workers to view foster parents as part of the team. 

"When we share information with the CPS worker, we aren't taken seriously," said Cordon.

The budget is moving through the House and Senate and advocates hope more money isn't cut.

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