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Myths Related to Child Protective Services (CPS)

Guest Contributor

Joylynn D. Givens

CPS On-going/Prevention Supervisor

Myth: Parents cannot physically discipline their children.

Fact: Parents are allowed to discipline their children; however the discipline should not result in marks, bruises, welts, or abrasions. In addition, children cannot be disciplined using objects that cause serious harm, and should not be slapped, hit, or punched in the face or head areas.

Myth: CPS always takes children out of the home after a referral is made.

Fact: It is not always necessary to remove children from the home when CPS workers respond to a referral. Depending on the details of the case, under some circumstances parents/guardians are offered the option to sign a safety plan with the assigned worker. The safety plan provides stipulations that parents/guardians must adhere to in order to keep their child(ren) in the home. If the safety plan is violated, then there is a possibility that the child(ren) may be removed from the home.

If the alleged abuser involved in the CPS referral resides in the home with the child(ren), the alleged abuser is asked to leave the home while the incident is being investigated.

Lastly, in cases where children need to be removed from the home, the caretakers are allowed to make arrangements for their children to be placed with suitable relatives or friends. The CPS investigator will explore all possible options before a child is removed from their family or their home.

Myth: CPS doesn’t do anything when you call them and they tell the family who made the initial call.

Fact: All CPS referrals are valid and it is against CPS policy to reveal the identity of the complainant. When a referral for CPS is placed, there are 4 criteria that must be met:

1) The referral must meet the definition of abuse and neglect according to CPS Guidance;