It’s been a few months since all the politicians and bureaucrats got together for their photo op with the governor to tell us all that they have solved the problem of foster care for Arizona. They patted each other on the back for creating the Division of Child Safety (DCS) and claiming that they were going to finally create the funds for taking care of Arizona’s most vulnerable children. So where are we today? From every account I have heard, not very far. I thought we were promised transparency in this process. Where is the promised transparency? More important, where is the plan?
Children are still sleeping in offices, families being torn apart and dozens of new children entering the foster care system every day. I have talked with the DCS Director and he shared with a group of us the progress he has made in the call center. Good stuff from what I can tell. But where is the actual plan for creating a functional agency? Where is the accountability? And more important, where are the changes that will turnaround our broken system?
I can’t find an answer.
We are in the midst of elections for all the statewide offices. Our next governor will inherit this quagmire. No one governor or legislature specifically owns this problem for lack of action because they all have done so. Our leaders have let the lack of planning and accountability of all those folks. put us in this situation. It is years in the making and can’t be fixed by “hoping” it changes. If someone doesn’t step in front of this fast moving freight train, it is going to overrun our state and will become one of the most costly, unplanned line items in future budgets.
No citizen wants to see taxes increased or wasteful spending on the part of our government. The only way to avoid either of these is with sound planning. It is how successful businesses move forward. They set goals, they develop detailed plans, communicate those plans to all their constituencies (employees, suppliers, partners, etc.), create metrics for measuring their progress and then hold everyone involved accountable for their part of delivering that plan. It happens every day, around the world in businesses, governments and non-government agencies. Let’s see the plan for DCS on how they will turn this around now!
No plan is perfect and seldom have perfect execution. But DCS has embarked on an important journey. It is a journey that will affect thousands of families and vulnerable children. It will affect millions of tax payers. If you were heading on a journey, don’t you think it would be wise to have a roadmap to get there? If you don’t, it will take longer cost more and perhaps you won’t even reach your destination.
So DCS, show us the plan for your journey!
Arizonan’s deserve to see the plan and know the metrics and hold you accountable. No more closed door meetings. No more veils of secrecy. Just show us the plan. Then Arizona can stop being one of the worst places in America for a child to grow up and instead, focus on growing our economy and making this the greatest place to be in America.
If the taxpayer is the boss, I don’t believe this is too much to ask.