CPS oversight board member and adoptive mother reacts to cases - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

CPS oversight board member and adoptive mother reacts to neglected cases

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Cherie Klavitter, CPS oversight board Cherie Klavitter, CPS oversight board
Dana Wolfe Naimark, Children's Action Alliance Dana Wolfe Naimark, Children's Action Alliance
PHOENIX (CBS5) -
The Child Protective Services oversight board just learned yesterday - along with the rest of us - that about 6,000 cases have been cast aside since 2009. 

Cherie Klavitter is the proud mom of three teenagers and the proud adoptive mom of six more. 

"We as a foster community are just brokenhearted for these kids," Klavitter said.

As a former DPS officer who was in the foster system as a child, Klavitter was asked to sit on the CPS oversight board. They learned Thursday of the 6,000 cases coming from the abuse hotline that were mislabeled as not needing investigation.  

"I don't think that it's fair to these kids who are potentially suffering to say your case is not important," Klavitter said.

Klavitter said there isn't just a shortage of case workers to investigate these cases. There's a shortage of foster homes. 

"If every allegation were investigated and even half resulted in removal, where will they go?" Klavitter asked.

"They are completely overwhelmed and cannot function," said Dana Wolfe Naimark with the Children's Action Alliance. She said they've also learned there are 12,000 cases that were started last fiscal year but haven't been completed. And that's not all. 

"There are 10,000 cases that are called inactive which means no staff has touched them in more than 60 days," Wolfe Naimark said. "They're just sitting there."

She wants to see a systematic change - starting with director Clarence Carter.

"It was on his watch that this happened, and again this is just one in a series of lapses," Wolfe Naimark said. 

In addition to calling for Carter's resignation, the Children's Action Alliance is demanding an independent crisis team step in.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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