A state lawmaker says Arizona has one of the highest child removal rates in the nation and wants to know why. So Representative Kelly Townsend’s introduced a bill requiring D-C-S case workers detail why the child should be taken from parents and get a supervisor’s approval before doing so.

Townsend says, the reason she suspects so many children are being wrongfully taken from their parents is the lack of supervisory oversight of child welfare workers who may go on mere hearsay a child is being abused and nothing more. Townsend says her bill is meant to protect the rights of parents while ensuring children who are actually in danger at home are removed.

Townsend cites a woman who, last year, had her children removed from the home after she was accused of harming her daughter. Townsend says the woman’s attorney disproved the accusations and an agonizing, but short 16 days later, her children were returned to her, although for the mother it was like an eternity.

Townsend says her proposal is not about going soft on abusive parents, but ensuring only the truly endangered children are taken from homes. The Mesa Republican also stresses her bill is not vilifying the new Department of Child Safety which replaced the troubled C-P-S last year.

–Barbara Villa