Abuse/Neglect / Posted 1 year ago / 589 views
Child Protective Services (CPS) is a specific social service provided by DHS to assist children believed to be neglected or abused by parents or other adults having permanent or temporary care or custody, or parental responsibility. The program also offers service to household or family members who may require intervention to decrease the risk of any continuing physical, sexual or mental abuse or neglect. The first priority of CPS is to safely maintain a child in their home and to protect the child from further harm and maltreatment. Where the caretaker is willing and able, through the provision of services or other assistance, to work toward maintaining safety for the child, no alternative placement is needed. Remaining safely at home or with family is always preferable to placement in foster care.
While CPS works to provide services and interventions to families, it is not designed to address all issues that contribute to a family’s difficulties or to address the full range of parent-child problems.
Our main focus is on protecting children from abuse and neglect and to engage families in the process of helping to safely parent their children. Child protection is a community responsibility and communities must respond strategically to children who are in danger of abuse or neglect working with families at the first sign of a problem and resources should be coordinated through combined efforts. The community has an obligation to ensure that the required services are available for prevention, intervention, and treatment of child abuse and neglect.
CODE OF MARYLAND REGULATIONS (COMAR) defines child abuse and child neglect as:
A child who exhibits any of the following signs may be a victim of physical abuse:
Consider the possibility of physical abuse when a parent or other caregiver:
A child who exhibits the following signs may be a victim of neglect:
Consider the possibility of neglect when a parent or other caregiver:
A child who exhibits any of the following signs may be a victim of sexual abuse:
Consider the possibility of sexual abuse when a parent or other caregiver:
A child who exhibits the following signs may be a victim of mental injury:
Consider the possibility of mental injury when the parent or other adult caregiver:
If you suspect a child is being harmed, reporting your suspicions may protect the child and help the family receive assistance. Any concerned person can report a suspicion of child abuse or neglect. Reporting your concerns is not making an accusation; rather, it is a request for an investigation or assessment to determine if help is needed. You do not need actual proof of child abuse or neglect; it is the responsibility of the local department of social services to determine if abuse or neglect occurred. You have the absolute right to remain anonymous as a reporter.
You are a mandated reporter if you are one of the following:
Human Service Worker
Reporting does NOT require PROOF that child abuse or neglect has occurred. Incidents are to be reported as soon as they are suspected. Waiting for proof may involve grave risk to the child and impede services to the family. Witnesses to child abuse and neglect are rare. Professional judgment and knowledge should be used to evaluate any suspicion. Please note that effective October 1, 2016, if a local department has reason to believe that a mandated reporter knowingly failed to make a report of suspected abuse or neglect of a child, the local department must file a complaint with the appropriate licensing board or employer of the mandated reporter. Anyone making a “good faith” report is immune from civil liability and criminal penalty
The intake worker will request additional information in order to obtain the most comprehensive and complete information possible to inform decision making and subsequent agency action. Because Child Protective Services seeks to affect both safety and change, information on the family’s strengths as well as needs will be requested.