The Problem with Child Protective Services
Over the last five years, I have become increasingly disillusioned with Child Protective Services. I have seen many children left in extremely dangerous situations and even more children removed from families that did not need to be removed from those families.
It appears that despite the stated goals of Child Protective Services, the actions of Child Protective Services indicate that they have lost much of the compassion they profess for the families they are assigned to help. Their actions often reveal a bureaucracy designed to cover their tracks as opposed to serving the public interest in the protection of children and maintaining family integrity.
Let me be clear what my problem with Child Protective Services is: it’s not just their compassion fatigue, my dissatisfaction with bureaucracy, my fear of big government, and public outrage at the escalating costs. It’s more than concern regarding the number of families disrupted and destroyed, or sorrow at the human and financial cost of intervention in normally sacred and private family matters. It goes beyond disillusionment at the highly public failures to rebuild families and protect children.
I believe the core problem with Child Protective Services is the manipulation of public consent and the consent of the families that Child Protective Services is supposed to be serving. I and many members of the public am disillusioned with the way in which Child Protective Services, and politicians have used moral and humanitarian arguments regarding child safety to extract public support and family support for emergency interventions in family matters and then conducted those interventions in ways that betrayed Child Protective Services’ true lack of commitment to those principles.
Most people do not realize it but Child Protective Services routinely interviews children in schools without explicit parental consent and often on a vague and unfounded report. It is not unusual for Child Protective Services to show up at a families door step and demand a drug test. If someone asserts there is no need for a drug test the case worker will say … “we can get an order.” So, perfectly innocent people open their mouths so a government bureaucrat can put something in their mouth and “swab” the inside of their cheek.
Child Protective Services must be reformed. This reform begins with an increased respect for family integrity and the rights of individuals. Meanwhile … if you have any interaction with Child Protective Services and wonder if you need a lawyer … let me be clear … You need one.