What to do if CPS or DHS won’t help an abused child you’ve reported?
So, you’ve reported an abused child to CPS/DHS and nothing came of it? We hear these stories often and we have some suggestions for you: First and foremost, take photos and/or video of the abuse you have witnessed or seen. This will be valuable evidence to substantiate the abuse you are reporting. Also, the more reports that are submitted about the same abused child, the more chances something will be done quicker. Have the child’s teacher, neighbors, friends, church folks or whoever has any contact with the child, start complaining LOUDLY and OFTEN.
STEPS YOU CAN TAKE NEXT:
1) Contact LEGAL AIDE and find legal representation — your case should be tried in a court of law to petition the court for an abuse or neglect investigation, temporary guardianship, and/or full custody.
2) Contact the NATIONAL CHILD ABUSE HOTLINE — make a national abuse report. The Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-4-A-CHILD
3) Call the police or dial 911 directly – especially if the child is in immediate danger! If the child has current immediate/obvious bruising, abuse, neglect or any signs that the police or EMS workers can visibly see, I guarantee CPS will be forced to step in after they contact them. (Having police reports to coincide with CPS reports helps to bring the case immediate attention!!)
4) Contact the CPS office and ask to speak the the SUPERVISOR—report the worker behind the recommendation. You probably initially spoke to an intake worker. Next time ask to speak to the Intake Worker’s supervisor (they are who decides whether a case is accepted or not). There are two types of investigations: a GPS case/investigation- General Protection Services (and) a CPS case/investigation – Child Protection Services.
5) Contact the child’s school and speak directly to his teacher, principal, coach or school counselor. They are mandated reporters and can help to bring attention to the child’s abuse.
6) Document, document, document. Take pictures. Tell the children that if they are hit they are to call the police IMMEDIATELY and reassure them that you will never get angry at them for calling the police. Tell them that if they become that afraid, they are to run to a neighbor’s house and call the police. Police take that kind of stuff very seriously BECAUSE of the number of children who have been seriously injured or worse because of neglect and abuse that went unpunished. Record and document everything—-keep a journal with dates, times, notes. Write down in detail what the child did to be “punished” for, when and where thy were hit and with what object, etc… Remember to take pictures and/or video of any/all abuse. This is crucial!! If possible, install a “nanny or spy cam” to catch the abuse on tape.
7) If all else fails, please contact your state governor’s office and speak to the commission’s office!!! They will record an “in-take” report and investigate. Contact your state legislature/governor’s office/District Attorney and ask for assistance. Report the CPS office that is behind this unacceptable recommendation. Do not take no for an answer…be persistent. Call them, write them, go in person to their offices and tell them you need help.
NOTE: The laws state that parents are allowed to parent as they see fit provided the child isn’t being physically/emotionally/mentally abused nor neglected to the point that it puts the childs life in danger. Physical abuse is the easiest to prove in a court of law. Emotional/Mental Abuse is about impossible to prove with a younger child, especially if there aren’t other kids in the home displaying the same behaviors and if the behaviors aren’t extreme. Spanking isn’t illegal, spanking with an implement is highly frowned upon, but if it isn’t causing severe pain, bruising or impairment, it’s not (technically) illegal….Just morally and ethically wrong.
Lastly, CPS or DHS should be utilized only to protect children in danger. It should never be used for individuals who do not agree with the way a family or other parent is raising the child. DHS is always going to try to rehabilitate the parent. Jurisdictions vary, but you need to keep reporting to DHS (CPS or whatever it is called where you live) EVERY TIME. They have to come out and investigate each report by law. Stay in close touch with the school counselor and make sure the children know that the counselor is someone to be trusted and they will NEVER be in trouble for telling the counselor the truth.
The Shame of Governmental Child Protection — with “Melody,” a former CPS worker
IF YOU ARE “FALSELY” ACCUSED OF ABUSE BY CPS: