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Child Protective Services

Child Protective Services
child-centered) practices, such as "Department of Children & Family Services" (DCFS). CPS is also known by the name of "Department of Social Services" (DSS) or simply "Social Services."[1]

Family law

CPS agencies operate under authority assigned to them by the individual state legislatures, and generally perform a series of functions that can be identified as follows: 1. Receive reports of child maltreatment allegations. In most states, mostly everyone is a mandatory reporter, especially public safety personnel (fire, police, etc.), public social service workers, school staff, day care staff, and more. One exception is attorneys representing clients on child-maltreatment criminal charges; and, substance-abuse treatment providers. 2. Determine if a report’s allegations meet statutory definitions for child maltreatment. If statutory definitions (State law) are met, then the report is accepted for investigation/assessment and a case is opened; otherwise, it is screened out, and might be forwarded to another agency for follow up supportive services to prevent child maltreatment. 3. To determine if a received report on an open case is substantiated to be true, then CPS social workers, as agents of the Juvenile Court, "investigate" or "assess" the allegations through contacts with the family and pertinent collateral-information providers (school staff, neighbors, etc.). Home visits are usually included although different states have different restrictions regarding this. After completion of the investigation, if the allegations are substantiated, a report is made to the Juvenile Court with a petition for action and recommendations for disposition. If the allegations are unsubstantiated (found not true), the case is closed. 4. If the child-maltreatment allegations prove sufficiently credible (substantiated), a petition is filed with the Juvenile Court to take action. This petition may be to

Entering into marriage Prenuptial agreement Marriage Common-law marriage Same-sex marriage Legal states similar to marriage Cohabitation · Civil union Domestic partnership Registered partnership Putative marriage Dissolution of marriage Annulment · Divorce · Alimony Issues affecting children Paternity · Legitimacy · Adoption Legal guardian · Foster care Ward · Emancipation of minors Grandparent visitation Child Protective Services
(United States)

Parental responsibility Contact (including visitation) Residence in English law Custody · Child support Related areas Spousal abuse · Child abuse Child abduction · Child marriage Adultery · Bigamy · Incest Conflict of laws Marriage · Nullity · Divorce

Child Protective Services (CPS) is the name of a governmental agency in many states of the United States that responds to reports of child abuse or neglect. Some states use other names, often attempting to reflect more family-centered (as opposed to


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
remove the child from the custody of the parents or legal guardian. If the petition is approved by the Juvenile Court, the Court makes findings of jurisdiction and disposition. The child is then considered to be adjudicated as a ward of the Court, and placed under the custody and care of the CPS agency, supervised by the Court. The child remains under the custody of the Court until proof is provided that the child can safely return to the care and custody of the parents or guardian from which they were removed.(See also, foster care.) If the allegations are not sufficient to warrant removal of the child but substantial or potential risk of maltreatment is still present, the Agency can petition the Court to retain the child in their own home under the supervision of the Court (through the CPS agency). The CPS Agency then initiates family maintenance services. In addition, if the determination is made that the child can be safely maintained in their home without Court supervision, and the family is in need of supportive services to prevent future maltreatment, then either voluntary post-investigative services are generally provided. 5. CPS case-management/treatment services are provided to the affected child, and to the family to address the reasons for CPS involvement and to prevent further child maltreatment. If the child has been removed from the home, then family reunification services are provided. These include everything from individual counseling, to family counseling, to anger management, to substance abuse treatment, to parenting education, and more. If the child remains in the home, then family maintenance services are provided. These include the same services as mentioned above with a focus on maintaining the child safely in their own home. 6. If the case decision found no need for follow-up services by CPS, or if the family and/or community has addressed all risk factors that lead to the provision of CPS case-management services, or if a family’s rights to a child is terminated and the child has been adopted, then the case can be closed.

Child Protective Services

Laws and standards
U.S. federal laws that govern CPS agencies include: • Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) • Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) • Multi-Ethnic Placement Act (MEPA) • Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA)

State and local
Definitions: Each state must also have statutes that provide more detailed definitions of what child maltreatment means, for instance, defining terms such as: 1. abuse, which might include: • physical abuse • sexual abuse • emotional abuse (not recognized by all states) 2. neglect, which might include: • lack of supervision • failure to provide necessary medical or remedial care • inappropriate discipline • exposure to domestic violence • exposure to parental substance abuse 3. alleged perpetrator, which might include: • parents • other relatives • other in-home adults • guardians, custodians, caregiver/ caretaker • daycare staff (not all states) • residential treatment (e.g., group home) staff (not all states) Activities: States must articulate how a CPS agency is to respond to alleged maltreatment including: • timeframes for responding to different levels of child maltreatment • manner in which reporters are provided follow-up information (e.g., case disposition letters) • confidentiality restrictions (e.g., which may differ during the investigative and case-management phases) • conflict-of-interest cases (e.g., a CPS agency would not investigate a report against their own staff) Additionally, state and local CPS-related institutions will develop policies and practices


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
that further shape communities’ response to child maltreatment. Examples include: • Coordinating efforts between CPS, law enforcement, schools, mental health and other institutions. • Providing further standards for defining maltreatment, such as how does one define "inappropriate discipline." • Maintaining records and/or centralized databases regarding reports and families. • Appeal processes, if any. • CPS-related court processes.

Child Protective Services
in the passage of the federal "Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act" (P.L. 93-247) providing federal funding for wide-ranging federal and state child-maltreatment research and services.[8]

Despite the benefits of the services of the CPS, in the last two decades, the CPS has come under intense private and public scrutinity. A recent analysis of child welfare practice and mandated reporting laws (Drake & Jonson-Reid, 2007) found that child welfare agencies are generally viewed positively, both by the general public and by other social service providers, such as psychologists. However, within the last several decades, there has been an increase in the amount of cases where certain branches of the CPS have reacted out of their bounds - usually along with the assistance of public schools or psychiatric instituitions. Another notable recent case is the family of Gary and Melissa Gates in Texas. According to a report by the local CBS Channel 42 Investigates special; the local school where their children had been attending had discovered one of the children had pinned a bag of food wrappers inside the shirt of one of the children caught stealing. The Gates had included a two page explanation as well as a list of phone numbers of who to call if the school wanted to ask more questions regarding any specific matter. Instead, the school called the local CPS and requested the Child Protective Services forcibly remove all thirteen of the Gates children and take them to foster homes. It was done without a court order under what is called Emergency Removal. The law allows it only when there is clear evidence of danger to the physical health & safety of the child and the need for protection is necessary. However, later on in the case in court, the local CPS gave the explaination that they felt, quote, "Mr. Gates was uncooperative and his uncooperativeness with us put the children at risk." The day after the children were taken, Mr and Mrs. Gates took the case to court and the judge ordered the children to be returned immediately - but to be safe, the judge ordered an independent evaluation. The psychologist selected, Dr. Jay Bevin, conducted a thorough home study and later wrote a glowing report in favour of the

In 1655, in what is now the United States, there were criminal court cases involving child abuse.[2] In 1692, states and municipalities identified care for abused and neglected children as the responsibility of local government and private institutions.[3] In 1696, England first used the legal principle of parens patriae, which gave the royal crown care of "charities, infants, idiots, and lunatics returned to the chancery." This principal of parens patriae has been identified as the statutory basis for U.S. governmental intervention in families’ child rearing practices.[4] In 1825, states enacted laws giving socialwelfare agencies the right to remove neglected children from their parents and from the streets. These children were placed in almshouses, in orphanages and with other families. In 1835, the Humane Society founded the National Federation of Child Rescue agencies to investigate child maltreatment. In the late-1800s, private child protection agencies – modeled after existing animal protection organizations – developed to investigate reports of child maltreatment, present cases in court and advocate for child welfare legislation.[5] In 1912, the federal Children’s Bureau was established to manage federal child welfare efforts, including services related to child maltreatment. In 1958, amendments to the Social Security Act mandated that states fund child protection efforts.[6] In 1962, professional and media interest in child maltreatment was sparked by the publication of C. Henry Kempe and associates’ "The battered child syndrome" in JAMA. By the mid-1960s, in response to public concern that resulted from this article, 49 U.S. states passed child-abuse reporting laws.[7] In 1974, these efforts by the states culminated


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Gates, concluding with the statement, quote, "I admire the Gates, I would not hesitate to put my own children in their care". According to court records, the CPS’ response was both that the department and CASA had found Dr. Bevin’s report as "disappointing". Even though the court dismissed the case against the Gates, CPS continues to classify the Gates as child abusers in the state central registry - stating "We felt that you emotionally abused this one child and as the rest of them saw it, that counts of thirteen counts of abuse as well as a further additional thirteen accounts from Mrs. Gates". The Gates were ultimately never charged with any crime, but they continued to be label as child abusers, based merely on the continuing opinion of CPS and continue the process of officially having their names removed from the child abusers state registry as well as charging CPS with further accounts of malpractice, physical abuse/neglect, and abuse of power. Recently, a number of parents have tried to take their cases to court - increasing to 265% in the past two years. Brenda Scott, in her study of CPS concluded, "Child Protective Services is out of control. The system, as it operates today, should be scrapped. If children are to be protected in their homes and in the system, radical new guidelines must be adopted. At the core of the problem is the antifamily mindset of CPS. Removal is the first resort, not the last. With insufficient checks and balances, the system that was designed to protect children has become the greatest perpetrator of harm."[9] Further to that information, several former CPS workers retired from the service, due to increasing circumstances and practices carried out by the organization. Many experts who work in the industry meanwhile believe the government fails to do enough. Professor Ted Melhuish in his research of December 7, 2006 presents the case for additional government intervention in terms of "Rates of Return to Human Capital investment." Citing a 1993 study of 123 young African-American children he finds early intervention ultimately contributes to greater tax revenue and also identifies possible cost savings in the areas justice, mental health and welfare. The study concludes that every dollar invested in Child Protective Services

Child Protective Services
produces a return Intervention? of $7.16 Why Early

Texas 2008 Raid of YFZ Ranch
In April 2008, many raised questions as the CPS in Texas removed every minor child and infant from the YFZ Ranch polygamist community, with the assistance of heavily armed police with an armored personnel carrier. They convinced a judge that they had sufficient evidence to conclude that all of the children were at risk of suffering from child abuse as they were being groomed for underage marriage. The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services had itself been an object of reports of unusual numbers of poisonings, death, rapes and pregnancies of children under its care since 2004. The Texas Family and Protective Services Crisis Management Team was created by executive order after the critical report Forgotten Children of 2004. Texas Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn made a statement in 2006 about the Texas foster care system.[10] In Fiscal 2003, 2004 and 2005, respectively 30, 38 and 48 foster children died in the state’s care. The number of foster children in the state’s care increased 24 percent to 32,474 in Fiscal 2005, while the number of deaths increased 60 percent. Compared to the general population, a child is four times more likely to die in the Texas foster care system. In 2004, about 100 children were treated for poisoning from medications; 63 were treated for rape that occurred while under state care including four-year old twin boys, and 142 children gave birth. It should be noted that Ms. Strayhorn’s report was not scientifically researched. Much of what was reported was anectodal and gleaned by the investigations of untrained interns from the State Comptroller’s office visiting private child care facilities. Interestingly, the majority of problems found in the system were at private child placing agencies, but Ms. Strayhorn’s recommendation was to transfer all of the child placement work in Texas to private agencies. She demonstrated little understanding of the depth of the issues related to child placement and the true nature of problems within the system. The report was heavily biased and many believe it was an effort on Ms.


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Strayhorn’s part to gain public attention to help her in a planned run for Governor of Texas. Texas has instituted many reforms to its child welfare system since 2005 in an effort to improve services to families. The investigation function has received much financial support and caseloads are significantly reduced allowing investigators to take more time and make better decisions. Unfortunately, little attention has been paid to the need for more caseworkers for children who are in foster care. These children continue to share a caseworker with anywhere from 30 to 100 other children. Their cases do not get the attention they deserve. Until major reforms are put in place to assure that children in the conservatroship of the state get as much attention as those at risk in their homes, the well-being of these children will continue to be in question. The report stated that children were being unnecessarily neglected and abused and dying. A 12-year-old boy died in December 2005, suffocated while being restrained from behind by an employee of the facility. Another died May 30, after drowning in a creek during a bicycle outing. A three-year old was treated for poisoning from an atypical, mindaltering anti-psychotic drug. Gene Grounds of Victim Relief Ministries reported no hysteria or crying children from children removed from the ranch. He commended CPS workers as exhibiting compassion, professionalism and caring concern.[11] However, CPS performance was questioned by workers from the Hill Country Community Mental Health-Mental Retardation Center. One wrote "I have never seen women and children treated this poorly, not to mention their civil rights being disregarded in this manner" after assisting at the emergency shelter. Others who were previously forbidden to discuss conditions working with CPS later produced unsigned written reports expressed anger at the CPS traumatizing the children, and disregarding rights of mothers who appeared to be good parents of healthy, well-behaved children. CPS threatened some MHMR workers with arrest, and the entire mental health support was dismissed the second week due to being "too compassionate." Workers believed poor sanitary conditions at the shelter allowed respiratory infections and chicken pox to spread.[12]

Child Protective Services

Responsibility for misconduct
The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution includes this text: Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. Title 42 United States Code Section 1983 states: Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory or the District of Columbia, subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law, suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for redress, except that in any action brought against a judicial officer for an act or omission taken in such officer’s judicial capacity, injunctive relief shall not be granted unless a declaratory decree was violated or declaratory relief was unavailable. For the purposes of this section, any Act of Congress applicable exclusively to the District of Columbia shall be considered to be a statute of the District of Columbia. In May 2007, the United States 9th Circuit Court of Appeals found in ROGERS v. COUNTY OF SAN JOAQUIN, No. 05-16071 that a CPS social worker acting without due process and without exigency (emergency


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conditions) violated the 14th Amendment and Title 42 United State Code Section 1983.

Child Protective Services
• Laird, David and Jennifer Michael (2006). "Budgeting Child Welfare: How will millions cut from the federal budget affect the child welfare system?" Published in: Child Welfare League of America, Children’s Voice, Vol. 15, No. 4 (July/ August 2006). Available on-line at: 0607budgeting.htm. • Pecora, Peter J., James K. Whittaker, Anthony N. Maluccio, with Richard P. Barth and Robert D. Plotnick (1992). The Child Welfare Challenge: Policy, Practice, and Research. NY:Aldine de Gruyter. ISBN 0-202-36082-2. • Petr, Christopher G. (1998). Social Work with Children and their Families: Pragmatic Foundations. NY:Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-510607-5. • Scott, Brenda (1994), "Out of Control. Who’s Watching Our Child Protection Agencies?". Huntington House Publishers. ISBN 1-56384-069-3 paper. ISBN 1-56384-073-1 hardback. • Wikipedia Delta H.U.

See also
• • • • • • CAPTA Child Welfare Cinderella effect Foster Care Child Abuse National Association of Social Workers

[1] Technically, CPS is usually a unit within a state’s or county’s DSS with the latter also including programs for assistance with Medicaid, Food Stamps, child support, public housing, Adult Protective Services, and foster care and adoptions. For examples, see the web pages for the DSS’s of California, Colorado, Louisiana, Missouri, New York’s Nassau County, North Carolina, South Carolina, South Dakota and Virginia. [2] Pecora et al. (1992), p. 231. [3] Ibid., pp. 230-1. [4] Ibid., p. 230. [5] Pecora et al. (1992), pp. 230-31; Petr (1998), p. 126. [6] Laird & Michael (2006). [7] Pecora et al. (1992), p. 232; Petr (1998), p. 126. [8] Pecora et al. (1992), pp. 232-3; Petr (1998), pp. 126-7. [9] Scott, Brenda (1994) Out of Control. Who’s Watching Our Child Protection Agencies? p. 179 [10] Comptroller Strayhorn Statement On Foster Care Abuse June 23, 2006 [11] Richardson group: Polygamists’ children are OK April 18, 2008 BY JANET ST. JAMES / WFAA-TV [12] .Crotea, Roger (10 May 2008). "Mental health workers rip CPS over sect". San Antonio Express-news . headline/metro/5770183.html.

External links
United States
• MacLaren Hall Child Protection Institution Home Site History of Child Protection in America • U.S. Children’s Bureau (CB), includes: • "Laws & Policies" - compendia of federal and state statutes • "State Statutes Search" - search engine of child-maltreatment-related state statutes with user-selectable criteria • "Definitions of Child Abuse and Neglect (2005)" - summary of the states’ definitions • Snowfall - One family’s account of CPS action • Child Welfare League of America • Child Shield USA

• Drake, B. & Jonson-Reid, M. (2007). A response to Melton based on the Best Available Data. Published in: Child Abuse & Neglect, Volume 31, Issue 4, April 2007, Pages 343-360.

• Child Welfare League of Canada • How to Implement Child Protection Mediation


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Child Protective Services
• American Family Rights Association :: "Until Every Child Comes Home©" [2]

• Children Hostages In Life’s Derangement [1]

Retrieved from "" Categories: Child abuse, Child welfare, Law enforcement in the United States, Domestic violence, Foster care This page was last modified on 20 May 2009, at 05:50 (UTC). All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License. (See Copyrights for details.) Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., a U.S. registered 501(c)(3) taxdeductible nonprofit charity. Privacy policy About Wikipedia Disclaimers


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