Guest Author - Kelli Deister
We live in a time when there are some people that abuse the system that is in place to help children that are being abused. Child Protective Services is an agency that is in place in every State across the United States. The name of the agency may not be Child Protective Services. It may be under another name. In order to find the agency in your State, you must look in your local telephone book. If you look under the Department of Social Services, you will find the agency that takes reports of suspected child abuse. For example, one State's agency is titled, Department of Children & Family Services. Apparently, the agency title was changed to bring the focus more on the family instead of just the child.
Child Protective Services (CPS) has been established so that people that have witnessed the abuse of a child, or suspect that abuse is occuring, can call them and report the abuse. A person can call CPS anonymously and leave information, such as the child's name, the parent's names, and the address of the family, if known. The person from CPS that is taking the call will also ask the caller the reason for their call. They will want to know if abuse has been witnessed, as well as why abuse is suspected. Once the call has been made to CPS, an individual from CPS will then be sent to the family's home to investigate the claim of abuse.
It is important to note that there are indeed people that call and report abuse, when no abuse is actually happening. A person may have a personal problem with another individual and simply call and make a false claim of abuse, in order to put the family through the investigative process. Some people get into an argument with a friend or loved one and make the call merely out of spite or anger. This is just wrong! It is also abuse of the system that is in place to help children.
CPS resources are to be taken very seriously! If no abuse is occuring, there should be no call placed to CPS. It is not just the money spent to investigate the false claims of abuse that is so wrong. It is the fact that the family unit is put through a very emotional time once the investigative process begins. Sometimes the children are removed from the home when a person says they suspect abuse, until it has been determined that no abuse is actually happening in the home. This is terribly wrong.
It not only messes with the routine that the child has at home, it also puts undue stress upon the family unit, especially the parents. Parents and children are seperated, which is very difficult for all involved. Parents are also then forced to prove that there is no abuse occuring within their home. I personally know of one family that is currently going through this difficult process. Their child has a medical condition and truly needs to be back home with his family. Having to learn of this situation has been very difficult for me because I believe the claims of abuse are false.
I believe very strongly that if the person making the false claim should become known to CPS, they should be punished for their actions. A person that calls 911 and either makes a prank call or a false report is punished upon doing so. This is because their call could have possibly prevented someone really in need of assistance from getting through to the proper authorities. When a CPS worker must go and investigate a false claim of child abuse, it uses funds that could have been put towards helping a child that is truly in danger.
If a call has been made regarding your children, you have every right to inform CPS of those people that you believe might have made the call. This will enable the person from CPS to investigate that person as well and could very well clear your family from claims of suspected abuse.
The services of Child Protective Services must be taken seriously. They are in place to help children that are truly being abused.