When To Contact Child Protective Services

it just seems that there's so many

children that are in danger and I wanted

to ask you first of all if in your

experience CPS does a pretty decent job

and does manage to get most of the

children out of harm's way because I

know you deal with child abuse it's a

child sexual abuse all the time and the

second thing is if you're one of the

neighbors of a child that you have these


I mean how what is it that neighbors

should be looking for just so it's not

just the family that's getting involved

because in some situations you see or

hear things and maybe you can put it in

some context that will drive the

audience to know that they should take

some action yeah well first of all CPS

they have a very difficult job there's

no question about it because of sort of

we're a number of variety of things make

their job more difficult one is the sort

of the privacy of the home and the

constitutional protections that are that

are around a family and they have to

sort of Pierce that to get access to the

kid or to get access to information

about how the kids being treated but I

think and I think in general they do a

good job however I think when when

things go wrong they go very wrong they

would think things go wrong we hear

about it because they're very extreme

they usually end up in a child being

very badly abused or dead and that is

why it makes the news but I think there

are a number of reasons that children

fall through the cracks one is I think

their budgets have definitely been

decreased over time now right now they

have nobody exactly yeah yeah it's

terrible so think of the kids that that

were supposed to be visited today

I mean what's happening in their lives

right now because of this and and that's

just one tiny little aspect of the

government that's being affected but the

and the workers are overworked their

caseloads are very high they don't have

time to make a visit a home visit every

child in their care every day and even

if they make a visit that's for what 15

20 minutes a half an hour well what

happens the rest of the 23 and a half

hours of that day so it's difficult

they're they're trying to get indicators

and I think that's why you bring up the


I think the neighbors are important the

family members are important the

relatives are

Gordan anybody anybody who works in a

youth serving organizations is important

anybody who knows or interacts with the

child is important because from that

grassroots level you will actually see a

lot of the details when the mother puts

the kid in the car in the morning is she

yanking his arm and and throwing them in

the back is is the stepfather you know

always holding this little girl is you

know there are behavioral clues that you

know you should listen to your instincts

about and if you see something if you

see something and it makes you feel

uncomfortable then you should probably

do something about it as opposed to just

feeling uncomfortable or talking to a

friend about it what you should do is

you should say I'm concerned and if

nothing is going on in the house it may

be an inconvenience for the family but

if this child is being abused then what

you're doing is helping save that

child's life and I think that's a more

important thing than just you know

getting over your discomfort at having

to call about your neighbor and I think

also when it comes to issues of sexual

abuse the people are loved to make that

sort of allegation because that is an

allegation that you cannot wash off once

it is made so how would you advise those

people if they have suspicions that and

and a feeling that something is wrong or

that some neighbor is acting

inappropriately with their child and I

know that it happens right but we're not

trained as you know like you argue to

notice certain clues so I would what do

you advise on that situation I would say

if you think that a child may be being

abused that you should offer a safe

haven to that child if the child knows

that you're somebody who they can trust

and who they can confide in and that you

will try to help them then I think

they're the chances of them reaching out

to you when they're in distress are

greater now it's a very difficult set of

circumstances because like you said if

you make a false allegation or even not

a false allegation but you know sort of

even a questioning allegation about

somebody sexually victimizing a child

that can still taint that person's life

and career especially if they work with

children for the rest of their career

could ruin somebody's career at the same

time you don't want even one child to

have to go through

that so it's a balancing act but they're

the the agencies that are charged with

protecting children they don't disclose

the information the details of it so

you're not actually hurting that

person's reputation it will be kept very

close to the vest in that family and so

although in the family it might come out

because they'll interview people in the

family I don't think it's going to ruin

their reputation in the community or

ruin their job