Over the past decade or so I have often times rant and raved about the incompetency and inefficiency of Arizona State Government. I always had to stop and question my own observations and beliefs and wondered if things were really as bad as I was experiencing or if I was just seeing the whole process through some sort of skewed vision.
Time and tide answer all questions. After 20+ years working in State and County government in Arizona, it became abundantly clear that it wasn't just my view of the issues and problems. The management (or lack thereof) of this this state is truly criminal.
Once in a while I search the internet to see how things are going in my old neck of the woods, which was Child Welfare in Arizona. My most recent search led me to this article. Sobering indeed. I don't dare even look up to see what my previous department (the Arizona Department of Insurance) is up to. The last I heard, the agency had basically collapsed and was no longer functional except in a figurehead role.
If you want to get an idea of exactly how bad things are in this state, take a look at the graphic from the above mentioned article.
That red line on the far right is the percent change of children entering into foster care in Arizona in the last 5 years. We are three times worse than Oregon, who is the next in line.
I always question the numbers when I see something like this and the statistics are collected by the Arizona Friends of Foster Care. A non-profit agency that was created because Child Protective Services was doing such an horrendous job at caring for Arizona's children. I know from experience that these numbers are correct.
After 15 years in this line of work, and seeing the state make no proactive or progressive efforts to address the root causes of the problems that affected these children, I basically threw up my hands and told my employer that I had had it. They promptly showed me the door. That was the best day of my life, but sadly not the best day for children in Arizona foster care. No day ever is.