Wednesday, September 22, 2021 4:14 am

Attorney says secret child welfare investigations violate parents’ rights

Termination-of-Parental-Rights-570x3211By Gary Grado | Arizona Capitol Times

An attorney who represents parents whose children are wards of the state said the Office of Child Welfare Investigations keeps its reports secret, making it difficult for parents to defend themselves, violating their rights and blurring the line between police and social work.

Chris Phillis, director of the Maricopa County Office of the Public Advocate, said she and her attorneys have argued many times in court that the OCWI reports must be disclosed to parents, but judges are mostly rejecting the argument. The office represents juveniles in delinquency cases and parents whose children have been removed.

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