Guest Author - Kelli Deister
A support system is something that is inherent to healing from the effects of domestic violence. Every victim, whether they be a child or an adult, needs to have their own established supporters. A support system varies for each individual. For some, it includes state child protective services, various agencies, and guardian ad litems; meanwhile, others may just need the support of their family and friends. Regardless of how each victim has their support system set up, it is theirs and should be respected and honored.
Because there is a plethora of information available on the topic of support systems, I will only touch on one resource per article. I would like to focus solely on Child Protective Services (CPS) for this article.
Child Protective Services is a state agency which looks after children that have been placed in foster care, neglected, or abused. A few cases have been revealed to the public, since January of this year, in which CPS allegedly visited the child’s home and concluded that there was no abuse occurring in the home. Sadly, in some of those cases, children were beaten to death. However, CPS has intervened in other cases, which resulted in the child being taken to safety.
There have been reports on the news that, since the death of some children, calls coming in now are leaving Child Protective Services inundated with cases. Unfortunately, there are only so many social workers and I would imagine they are having a difficult job amidst a huge lists of telephone calls reporting suspicions of neglect or abuse. I personally do not believe that all of the cases in which children have died, are a direct result of CPS not doing its job. We must remember that there are only so many social workers as compared to the many suspected cases of abuse. I believe that in our society, when we don’t seem to have answers for something as serious as a child’s death due to abuse, we look for someone to blame. However, CPS is only one factor of the support system. They cannot obviously do all of the work alone. This is when that old adage comes in, “It takes a village to raise a child.”
Our society cannot expect merely one agency to ensure the safety of all children. This is where the support system comes into play. Each victim or survivor needs to establish their own support system with as many supporters as possible. CPS can be a part of one’s support system; however, they cannot be the sole supporter. The job of protecting our children does not lie solely on one person or agency. It truly does “take a village to raise a child.”