Former Arizona DCS attorney speaks out amid computer glitches

By Lauren Gilger
Published: Thursday, August 31, 2023 - 11:56am
Updated: Friday, September 1, 2023 - 10:08am

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Deandra Arena
Deandra Arena
Deandra Arena

Last week, the Department of Child Safety asked the courts to put all of its cases on hold for two weeks after it was revealed that a computer glitch meant that important disclosures and documents weren’t making it into the system. It could potentially impact thousands of cases — including 140 cases in which adoptions were finalized and biological parents lost their children for good.

Attorney General Kris Mayes and Gov. Katie Hobbs came forward and announced the issue and are being praised for acting quickly and publicly.

However, Deandra Arena says this could easily become a too little, too late scenario without a lot more attention being paid to these issues.

Arena is an attorney at Woodnick Law who represents parents in DCS proceedings. Before that, she worked in the system, serving as an assistant Arizona attorney general for the Protective Services Section, representing the Department of Child Safety.

So, she knows the system from both sides.

After the announcement about the computer glitch, she wrote an op-ed in the Arizona Republic about her ongoing concerns. The Show spoke with her more about it.  

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