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The Truth about Child Protective Services
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Published: 15 years ago
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The Truth about Child Protective Services

When we think of CPS (Child Protective Services) or DYFS (Division of Youth and Family Services), we think of an agency that functions with the health and well-being of children and families at the forefront. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The site listed below, details the cost of funding such an agency, the reductions of funding, current levels of case-loads, and other topics that directly affect the viability of an agency that was designed to protect children and intervene on their behalf:

If you "suspect" child abuse or neglect, making a report can often be met with skepticism (and, even open hostililty) by the on-call counselor. One of the ugliest and nastiest abuses of CPS or DYFS is during a domestic dispute or divorce proceedings. Countless parents have been accused of abusing their children by an estranged spouse who is determined to cause problems by using/abusing the agency. This type of behavior is shameful and discredits the accurate and true reports that are ignored. Speaking with the on-call counselor isn't enough. If you "suspect" child abuse/neglect, make the report and ask to speak to a Supervisor. Insist that you expect to remain "anonymous" and will be remaining involved until the situation is resolved. If you are told that a supervisor is not available, insist that they return your call and provide a number that you can be reached at. Make sure to provide as much detail as possible when making a report - it is a good idea to write down specific dates, times, and observances that might lead you to believe that abuse/neglect is an issue. Keep track of whom you speak to: write down names of case-workers, on-call counselors, supervisors, etc. in the event that your concerns are ignored.

If you KNOW that children are being abused/neglected, pretending that its none of your business is unacceptable and absolutely untrue: children who are abused and/or neglected are TEN TIMES more likely to end up in the corrections systems. Intervention may (or, may not) be successful, thus keeping just one more individual out of the prison system and off of the taxpayers' backs. If you know that abuse/neglect is being committed, MAKE IT YOUR BUSINESS. Call CPS with details (again, dates, times, incidents, etc.) of the abuse/neglect. Again, insist upon anonymimity and an assurance that you will be kept updated as to the progress of the investigation. Ask to speak with a Supervisor and carefully explain that you are not calling to cause difficulties for someone else - you are a concerned citizen and have witnessed the details that you're providing. Then, inform the Supervisor that you intend to contact the Police and provide them with the same information - FOLLOW THROUGH WITH ANYTHING THAT YOU SAY! As in all aspects of Life, one should never threaten to do something that one has no intention of following through upon. When you contact the Police, ask to speak to a Juvenile Detective and offer the details and the fact that you have already contacted CPS.

Remain in contact with the CPS Supervisor and assigned case-worker. Depending upon your State and County, a case-worker can be avalanched with over 600 reports of abuse and/or neglect EACH WEEK, many of which are bogus reports made by estranged spouses/significant others, vindictive relatives, or irate neighbors. If your report is valid, it is imperative that you help to keep your concerns fresh in the minds of the case-workers. Often, even dogging your report doesn't yeild results - the system is flawed and overused. If this seems to be the case, contact your local District Attorney's Office.

Finally, though we human beings often would like to exact revenge against a relative or neighbor, it is never, ever acceptable to contact CPS and make a false report - again, this behavior which seems so widespread diminishes the ability of the agency to properly perform their tasks. It is NEVER acceptable to file a false report, of any kind, whether it's to CPS or any other agency.

We adults have the luxury of reaping what we choose to sow: if we choose to involve ourselves in a dangerous situation, we have only ourselves to blame. Children, on the other hand, are the silent victims. Children must endure the consequences of our own stupidity and bad decisions - they don't have the luxury of "choice."


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