Child Protective Services is a well-developed program used to fight against child abuse and neglect in California. The state laws make many services available to neglected and abused children in society together with their families. The main objective of these protective services is to ensure that children stay at home only if it is safe for their well-being. However, if their rights are at risk of violation, the program develops an alternative way to deal with the situation. There exist many alternative responses to investigation available to child protective agencies.
An investigation is one of the most commonly used responses by the Child Protective Services to ascertain child abuse and neglect in society. However, it is not justifiable because of the weakness associated with it. The investigation response is taken as a mere social report on the status of the child and the family where he or she lives. It enables to report on such issues within the family as psychological and economic conditions and recommend what has to be done to protect the child from abuse. This investigation does not provide any justice to the child unlike the criminal one.
Considering the ineffectiveness of the investigation response, child protective agencies have formulated a new response to help in fighting for abused or neglected child rights. The Child Protective Services in California have the power to remove children from home and take responsibility for them. This power is only meant to prevent the abused or neglected child from future mistreatment. However, the law does not empower the agency to take judicial action against perpetrators.
A community response is another method, which is applicable when the Child Protective Services pay attention to child abuse but allegations do not qualify to be abuse or neglect. A few indicators about the likelihood of the child’s family experiencing some problems are handled by community services. The latter engage the family to evaluate their needs and respond to the child protective agency about the degree of family participation in child abuse.
The Child Protective Services and agency partners response is a system used to deal with families in which children are at low risk of abuse and neglect. This response is taken when the child abuse assessment shows that exposure to specific target services may improve child safety. It focuses on the protection of children from future abuse or neglect by engaging the child’s family voluntarily. This response involves a lot of teamwork on the part of the Child Protective Services and Community Partners to offer a massive disciplinary approach to the situation.
The Child Welfare Services response resembles the traditional system used to protect children from abuse and neglect. It is applied when the initial analysis of the status of the child indicates to be unsafe. The risk of child abuse and neglect is high, and child protective agencies take a prior action to mitigate the situation before it becomes worse. The agencies involved in the protection of children may make agreements with families to guarantee the safety of their children. In this response, serious actions may be taken without the acknowledgment of the family for the sake of improving the situation. The agencies may be forced to use court orders and law enforcement organs if families offer resistance.
The alternative responses to investigation discussed above are available and used by the child protective agencies in California. These responses have enabled the agencies to deal with the agony of child abuse and neglect in a more improved manner. Some of the responses produce better results compared with the ones of the investigation response. They have some similarities and differences when compared with the ones available in other states. The responses in California can be compared with those available in Florida and Iowa.
The community-centered response is available in both California and Florida. They are involved in handling child abuse and neglect indicators, which have a low risk of occurrence. In both states, community services asses the needs of the family and ascertain whether they are serious enough to necessitate immediate action. The main agenda of this response is to ensure the safety of children is protected and they are not vulnerable to child abuse and neglect.
Another common response in Florida and California is the collaboration between child protective services and other agencies. The latter may include community services, as well as alcohol and other drug agencies. The collaboration among various agencies has worked out in the fight for children rights. In this response, a community partner should be involved in the assessment of the family in which the child lives. If the risk of violation of the child’s rights is high, the child protective agency identifies another agency to offer any services needed for the family.
However, a difference exists in responses used in California and Florida. The first engages the Child Protective Services when the risk of child abuse and neglect is high. The agency mitigates the risk by using a court order if the analysis proves that the family is involved and offers resistance to any actions taken. On the other hand, Florida uses the family assessment response, which presupposes analyzing the status of the family either economically or psychologically to determine an appropriate action to take. Both responses are effective despite the fact that the Californian response is more radical compared to the Florida one.
California and Iowa have similar responses available to child protective agencies. The community-centered response is common in both states and performs a similar function of assessing the family, whenever the risk of child abuse and neglect are low. The community engages families of children for the purpose of preventing child rights violation in the future. This response has been crucial in preventing child abuse in families at the initial stages. Its success is measured by the level of participation of the family in the mission of protecting children.
There exists a difference in the responses available in California and Iowa. In the latter, there is the application of the family assessment response. It is used when there are few indicators of child abuse and neglect within the family. The community services undertake an assessment to establish family needs and plan on the best way possible to deal with them. In California, there is the use of the partnership response between the child protective agency and other agencies, such as alcohol and drug abuse ones. The collaboration of many agencies helps to deal with a high risk of child rights violation witnessed in families.
The results of the comparison of the responses available to child protective agencies show that there is no wide disparity among the states. It may be attributed to the fact that child protection from abuse and neglect is a fundamental requirement set by the international child protection laws. In order for every state to comply with it, state governments have formulated responses to deal with this critical concern. The differences witnessed in the responses available can be attributed to the level of state commitment to the issue of child protection.
California may undertake additional responses to improve the level of child protection. The introduction of the family assessment response would be very influential in the attainment of child protective agencies goals. The state should apply the investigation response hand in hand with the assessment of all families with an indication of the maltreatment of children. The child protective agencies in California should engage in the additional investigation if child abuse involves criminal proceedings.
The idea of evaluating the performance of the responses should also be incorporated to determine whether the ones are successful. A successful response is considered the one whereby there is a reduction in the number of families been investigated by the child protective agencies. The success is also measured by the level of services offered by the community to families and the number of children put in custody due to insecure homes. The duration of family involvement in monitoring conducted by the child protective agencies will determine the success of the family assessment response.
The child protective agencies in California should also incorporate the response involving collaboration between the Child Protective Services and domestic violence agencies. The monitoring of domestic violence will facilitate the reduction of child abuse. It is because, in a family where there is domestic violence, such as women abuse, definitely child abuse will be experienced. Although the collaboration seems to be difficult because of the different orientation of the two agencies, it will help in uniting children with their parents.
In conclusion, the role played by child protective agencies in the protection of children from abuse and neglect is critical and undisputable. In order to improve child protection initiatives, these agencies should focus on divine and precise modes of intervention to reduce the risk of child abuse at the initial stages. For the last time, many agencies involved in the protection of children have relied very much on the law instead of dealing with each situation according to the circumstances.