Raising 13 Children Doesn't Make Flake An Authority

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Editor:

I feel compelled to write a letter after reading Jake Flake's editorial (Oct. 10 Roundup).

Mr. Flake may have 13 children, but that hardly makes him an expert on CPS issues. Now, if he had assisted in the rearing of even one foster child, or if he had spent any time at all in hands-on CPS work, I'd be much more inclined to seek out his input.

Mr. Flake, as the house speaker, is in a position to make a difference in the lives of many right now. Hopefully, he will pass on the participation of damaging "party" rhetoric, and get to work.

Janet Napolitano is making propositions for change. Child Protective Service does need to be completely revamped.

Money is needed to pay competitive salaries to CPS workers and adequate reimbursement to foster parents. CPS, as a career choice, is grossly lacking.

Endless stress, enormous responsibility, and the expectation that workers should do an undoable job well, is what awaits a worker. They are supposed to contribute to the reunification of families, with minimal help or resources. Subsequently, adequate workers quit in short order; they grasp the risk involved. They see the repercussions and tragedies that arise because they cannot do their jobs well.

In the past, workers spent years in the field, first as ongoing caseworkers, then as investigators and eventually as supervisors for a few. Now, workers with little experience at all in dealing with this specific population are making major life decisions for children. Unfortunately, the good workers leave and many workers who stay don't have the insight to know they are ineffective. They advance rapidly to investigations, without the knowledge to do so.

This is especially true in our own town of Payson. Children are at risk right here in our back yard. Many foster parents and other important entities in this town refuse to work with our local CPS.

Jake Flake should begin to address the statewide problem, and concerned citizens of Payson should address the activities instigated by CPS in Payson.

Linda Schreur, Payson

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