In many cases, Child Protective Services do have too much power but the problem is how that power is used. We all have heard about cases that slip through the cracks and the excuses of overloaded social workers not being able to follow through as necessary in order to save children in abusive situations.
Judges often make their decisions based on the findings of Child Protective Services when if they were paying attention to the facts of the case, they would see that often the recommendations are not in the child’s best interest. There is no doubt in my mind that in many states, Child Protective Services do not do a thorough job and mainly look to settle a case as quickly as possible. Many children are left in situations that are abusive and so-called experts often miss what is really going on in the life of a child.
When a foster parent or other guardian has warning that a caseworker will be visiting the home, it gives them time to clean up their act and prepare for the inspection. Often children in abusive situations are programmed to not speak about what goes on in the home. A social worker, psychologist or therapist often sees the non-verbal child as being withdrawn and not able to open up. A child psychiatrist will be quick to medicate them and diagnose a condition that may or may not even exist. Often the “problem” is the living situation which the child is too fearful to speak about or has lived it for so long that they do not know it is not “normal”.
I have had too many experiences with the child protective services in my state through my friendship with someone that I know to be a good parent. In most of the cases I have seen, the agency assigned to investigate and do what is best for the child, did not investigate the situation properly and did not even bother to evaluate other family members to see if they could give the child a better home. It seemed that the agency made up their minds early on to leave the children with grandparents who witnessed abuse and also took part in being abusive. The children were well-programmed not to trust anyone and never to speak about what went on. Basically, the agency wanted to get the case closed quickly in order to help reduce their workload.
A grandparent who has been in a child’s life and was aware of the biological mother’s drug use and abuse towards the children had never tried to stop it. Child Protective Services got called in and only then was the mother investigated. CPS had the mother’s parental rights terminated and allowed the grandparents to adopt the children. Meanwhile, the mother still lived with the children and the abuse continues to this day.
The above case is not unusual. Just as sometimes crimes are pushed to be solved in order to satisfy public outrage over the crime even though the accused may not be guilty, CPS often closes cases before they are fully investigated. Not everyone who gives birth or fathers a child is worthy of raising their offspring. It takes a village and we need to be protecting children better than we are. We give these agencies power but they are not worthy of it as they are not doing a thorough job.