Can Arizona’s Broken Child Welfare System Ever Be Fixed?
Two-year-old Cloud Gerhart weighed just 17 pounds when the Department of Child Safety finally removed him from his home in September 2014. The first call to authorities had come before he was even born, after Cloud’s mother, Megan, tested positive for marijuana during two prenatal appointments.
Between the time of his birth and the day DCS took him away, the state’s child abuse hotline received six more calls expressing concern that Cloud was skinny and hungry, that Megan drank and smoked a lot, and that their trailer in Sierra Vista was dirty and full of trash.
Though it’s unacceptable that Cloud had languished in Arizona’s “broken” child welfare system, it’s almost unfathomable that he continued to do so for seven months after what arguably was the most drastic overhaul of the system ever attempted in this state… (Continue reading in The Phoenix New Times.)