WSAJ fights to ensure that every citizen, regardless of stature, economic status or power, has the ability to hold our government accountable. When it comes to innocent children, this right is even more precious. It is imperative that children, often the most powerless individuals in society, have access to justice in the most egregious cases of harm or neglect. That’s why WSAJ strongly supports a budget increase to hire 100 more workers by Washington’s Child Protection Services (CPS) after years of horrific child welfare cases have come to light (Northwest Public Radio) and reports that Washington’s Child Protection Services is asking for a budget increase to hire 100 more workers after years of lawsuits have revealed horrific child welfare cases. NWPR reports that the reports of child abuse and neglect are up 10,000 over the last two years.
Representative Ruth Kagi (D) said she supports the staff increase, but that a large influx of staff may lead to mistakes. On the other hand, Senator Steve O’Ban (R) remarked that, “There are some major problems there that need to be fixed and throwing more money at it is probably not the fundamental issue.”
Washington’s CPS workers are taking on an average of 25 cases at a time, when the national standard is 15. This is simply unacceptable.
This coincides with a report from this summer that nationally, CPS checked on 3.2 million children and that many correspondents believe that the largest problem for CPS is “the state failing to remove children from legitimately dangerous situations that lead to grave injuries or even death.”
Despite attempts to create special protections for government, Washington state has upheld citizens’ rights to access the civil justice system. Our civil courts play a pivotal role in mandating a checks and balances between our three branches of government. It ensures that the power of one branch of government (executive, legislative or judicial) is not unchecked. WSAJ members fight every day to protect the rights of the injured and we are pleased that CPS has made this budget request.