Local

Dec 8, 2012 12:27 AM by Nathan O'Neal

State lawmaker, former child services worker urge solution to CPS cuts

TUCSON - An uncertain future for thousands of kids in CPS custody as critical services are cut hitting local programs hard.

The state's planning an end to supervised visits for parents through local agencies. All volunteer programs will be slashed including academic tutoring and mentoring. However, the move has provoked some to search for a solution.

It's a difficult task to understand how these changes will affect an already complicated system. One woman who has seen the inner workings of CPS argues it will be impossible for them to handle their already hefty workload while adding the services they used to contract out.

Cathy Tullgren has spent the last 40 years working with children's services in Tucson, at one point working with CPS.

"I don't really believe that CPS is going to be able to cover the volunteer program, in fact historically they weren't doing them well and that's why they got contracted out," Tullgren told News 4 Tucson.

CPS told News 4 in a statement yesterday that "while the total dollars have not been reduced, the department is looking at areas it can be more fiscally responsible."

News 4 Tucson followed up with CPS today, asking for more answers about how they're going to manage, to which they replied "no services have ended."

However, state lawmakers like Steve Farley were shocked when CPS didn't ask the legislature for emergency funds.

"You've got to come to the state legislatuer and say hey we need more money," Farley told News 4 Tucson, adding: "I've had some contact with [CPS] through staff already, they've said that this has been coming for a while, well if it's been coming for a while don't let it get to the crisis point where you are cutting people off."

That's a common concern that focuses on the future of these children in Arizona.

"What we historically see is that children are the last to receive the services that they need...that of course impacts our future," Tullgren said.

A rally is planned for December 12 from 10am-2pm at 400 W. Congress to protest the changes.

If you have concerns about the changes to CPS, you can follow this links to reach your state learders:

To reach out to Governor Jan Brewer:
http://www.azgovernor.gov/Contact.asp

To reach out to your legislators:
http://www.azleg.gov/MemberRoster.asp

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