What is the purpose of CPS/DHS? Many people hear those letters and immediately think that their children are in danger of being taken away. I’d like to take the time to clear up misconceptions and set the record straight on what the exact role of this agency is in the community.
Do we remove children from homes? Yes, because statistically a child per day is killed at the hands of their parents. Do we walk in and steal your children? No, a court order is required for any removal unless the social worker or police directly witness and document circumstances that place the children in imminent threat of death or serious physical harm. Our goal is also to reunite families whenever possible. Not all parents cooperate in the process by completing parenting classes, anger management, or there is a refusal to discontinue the use of drugs.
You will hear horror stories of helpless parents whose children were taken for no reason. “My kids were taken from me because I left them in the car alone for 5 minutes!” Yes, we did take your children because no one has ever been in the grocery store for 5 minutes. It takes that long for a police officer to show up on scene. It takes less than 15 minutes for a car to reach temperatures of well over 100 degrees on an 80 degree day. Car temperatures also drop dramatically in cold weather. A police officer had to show up and witness the children being there. Remember that court order or witnessing circumstances. The police officer will then remove your children from your car by any means necessary. They will keep them calm in their climate controlled vehicle while timing how long you were actually in the store before you come outside to curse my child stealing b$@%# a$$ out. It takes approximately 30 minutes for a social worker to show up on scene. You have really stretched out that 5 minutes now! Thank whoever reported you and stopped your children from being the next case on the news. If you are the genius parent who lets the windows down you can also thank them for stopping your children from being kidnapped. The fastest human on earth is not making it back to their car from the time the alarm goes off on your keychain before your kids are gone. If you’re lucky you will find your small child wandering the parking lot like a surprise road test obstacle.
IT TAKES 20-30 MINUTES FOR A CHILD TO DIE IN A HOT LOCKED CAR WITH THE WINDOWS CRACKED
Now what else do we do when we’re not harassing completely innocent people with our court orders? We follow up on cases of reported abuse or neglect to children, disabled adults, and the elderly. We are all social workers. We provide assistance to parents in need that are about to break the law because they do not have childcare. We will gladly help you receive emergency food stamp assistance and apply for food assistance and WIC for children under 5. We will give you lists of local food pantries and churches to help you. We will be upset to come to a house with no food when it is completely preventable. That is neglect. We give you the resources needed to care for your children properly. We will help set you up with counseling to deal with the stress of constantly living on the edge of disaster. We want to help families and protect children. We would rather prevent an incident than respond to one. If you are in an abusive situation we can and will safely remove you and your family. Removal of children from a family is a last resort. Help us to help you before we are on opposite sides of the table.
Child Protective Services and The Department of Human Services is there to aid the families in the community. We are not out to destroy them. I am tried of the stereotype that CPS/DHS is out to screw you over. We investigate every case reported of abuse whether legitimate or not. How is it acceptable to say no innocent man should be in jail when our most precious resource, our children, are not given an automatic assumption of need when abuse is reported? Complain all you want, but the children will always be our first priority. If you have nothing to hide you will have no problems. We want to see that the children have a safe living environment, food to eat, adequate supervision, and are not abused. We know children fall and bruise themselves, but no child has ever fallen on and adult sized hand shaped toy. There is a big difference between the two circumstances. Almost 2 out of 3 reports are unfounded and the file is closed. I am sorry if this is your case, but appreciate that your children have someone looking out for them should they need it some day.