Social work professor appointed to Governor’s task force

Steven Anderson, director of ASU’s School of Social Work, has been appointed by Gov. Jan Brewer to serve as a member of the Arizona Child Safety Task Force. The group is currently reviewing statewide child safety policies and will make recommendations on how to improve the way in which the state oversees children and investigates cases of abuse and neglect.

ASU has had a longstanding commitment to working on child abuse and neglect issues that are central to this Task Force. The Arizona Department of Economic Security and the School of Social Work have a collaborative relationship aimed at educating and training child protective services workers, their supervisors and managers.

“I am very pleased to have the opportunity to serve on this Task Force,” Anderson said. “The protection of children appeals to our best instincts as a society and working to improve our public response for doing so is critical. ASU has played an important role in educating students to work in the child protective services system and in collaborating with the Arizona Department of Economic Security on both training and service evaluation projects. I appreciate that President Michael Crow has recognized the importance of this issue and has encouraged talented people across ASU to work together creatively to contribute to new solutions.”

The Task Force, chaired by Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery, has held two public meetings to receive testimony related to the current operation of the child protective services system. Experts involved in various aspects of child protective services delivery, legislators, and citizens have testified about current system performance and also have identified areas of concern. Anderson testified on ASU education and training efforts and related issues at the Nov. 29 hearing.

“There can be no higher priority than the safety of children under state supervision,” Brewer said. “I’ve assembled the best child-safety experts in Arizona in order to review state procedures and identify ways to help the agency perform at the highest level. With the expertise of law enforcement, physicians, victim advocates and others who’ve devoted their lives to child safety, we can ensure that our state safeguards are the most effective possible.”

The Task Force must issue their final recommendations to the governor by the end of the year.  

To read Anderson’s testimony, please visit