What's with the Department of Child Protection Anyway? (DCP/ DOCS Investigation Techniques)

Here's a story for you:

A mother mentions to her children's psychologist some of the things that her kids have said and done since their father left 3 months before that she has found concerning. Alarm bells ring for the psychologist, who then contacts the Department of Child Protection.

DCP then goes to visit the mother and she is asked to repeat to them the things her kids have said and done, which she does. She is asked what it is about these things that she finds concerning, and she explains that she had read that such behaviors may indicate sexual abuse or grooming. She adds that she is not making allegations of sexual abuse, as her children have not disclosed as much to her, but says that she did not feel qualified to draw any conclusions, and would feel terrible if she dismissed her concerns and they later turned out to be justified, which is why she had spoken to the children's psychologist.

She then answers many other questions that the DCP officers put to her, which are mostly about the fathers sexual behavior and what he had told her about his childhood. She answers all the questions to the best of her knowledge, and shares other information about the father that she had found to be concerning, including the physical and emotional abuse he had perpetrated against her and her children.

The DCP officers conclude the interview by telling her she is right to be concerned, especially when looking at all the information together. They ask her what she plans to do to help herself and her children heal from the abuse and to keep them all safe from further abuse. She tells them what she has already done, and what she plans to do. They praise her for being so proactive, and tell her that she has done and is doing all the things that they would have suggested to her and expected her to do.

They tell her that they are going to have to interview the children, but that due to the family violence they will definitely support her in family court, regardless of whether or not the kids reveal any sexual abuse in the planned interview. Then, as they are leaving, one of the officers asks her if she would like to work for DCP "when this crisis is over", which surprises her, but she thanks them before she politely declines.

The following week, they go to interview the father. They say to him "Your ex has accused you of grooming your children for sex and sexually abusing them." Then they listen to his protests and denials, and more, as he promptly starts to make allegations against the mother, suggesting that she is mentally ill, vindictive and abusive. He tells them that he was the victim of family violence, and she the perpetrator. They listen to what he has to say and believe every dam word?!?

They then launch into an investigation of the mother (without her knowledge). They do not find ANY evidence to support his claims of her criminal activity or drug addiction. They DO however, find evidence supporting ALL of the steps she claimed to have taken, and obtain reports from both her and the children's counselors which say that she has been nothing if consistently positive and proactive since he left.

Her and the children's counseling and medical records show that while she had indeed suffered depression in the last year of the relationship, and that both her and the children were suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder following the final break down of the relationship when he had become increasingly violent, her depression had since lifted and she had sought treatment for both her own and the children's Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Her psychiatric records show that she has been on medication for AD/HD for the past 5 years, and medication for depression for the past year. They also show that she is tested for drugs regularly and that the results have consistently shown that she has not been using illicit drugs. She has no criminal record, has never been charged for drunk driving and has never even lost her driver's license from losing all her points.

They conduct a limited investigation into the father's past, and confirm everything she had said about his prior criminal convictions for violence, possession and cultivation of drugs, possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition and his long list of traffic convictions and multiple losses of his driver's license. His medical records and mental health records also further verify the information she had volunteered.

They then confirm via the Police Computer Crime Squad that the computer the mother had handed over to be examined confirmed her claims about his secret sexuality issues and her supported her suspicions about his sexual addiction and fascination with violence.

The history of his web browser showed that he had been surfing the internet viewing extremely graphic, real life video footage of horrific violence towards women, children and animals, as well as beastiality and every kind of x-rated pornography - except child pornography. (It also showed that he had been seeking casual sex with "young men", women and transsexuals, and that he had profiles on at least 18 different dating sites. The profiles showed him as a male, 50 years old, married and seeking anything from discreet casual sex to marriage. One of his introductions said "dad seeks son". Another said "seeking smooth, shaved sub gay boy". Yet another said "seeking Asian Bride".)

Once things get started in the Family Court, they are asked if they have any concerns for the children. They tell the Court that they have concerns for the children while they are with their mother, but that they do not have any concerns for their safety while they are with their father. They do not reveal anything about the information that they have confirmed or disclose the fact they despite conducting a 3 month investigation into the mother, they were not able to find ANY evidence that she is an unfit parent. They do however blatantly misquote the mother and grossly misrepresent the sequence of events. Luckily for the children, the Family Court decides to play it safe and launches it's own investigation by appointing an Independent Childrens Lawyer, who plans to subpoena all official records rather than relying on the general reports supplied by the department. Hopefully justice will prevail and the children will not become one of the statistics...

I conclude this attempt to vent my frustrations with my original question: What is with the Department of Child Protection anyway? These are the people we trust in to PROTECT our children. How can they consider themselves to be professionals? Are they simply outrageously incompetent or is it a case of corruption? Have these people received no training or education about issues of family violence, the effects it has on victims (both adults and children) and most importantly on the tactics used by perpetrators of violence and sexual abuse?

Do they not know that it is almost standard behavior for perpetrators to shift the spotlight away from their own behavior by mirroring and counter-accusing? Do they honestly think that approaching the perpetrator and blatantly misquoting the victims is the way to determine the truth of the matter? Are they ignorant of the personality traits of psychopaths and sociopaths? Do they honestly think that "false allegations" (not that the mother made any allegations) are more common than "false denials"? Have they never heard of institutional grooming, or are they just to stupid to realize that they are being groomed by professional abusers? I mean, why would ANY serial abuser simply say "well, yes, I admit that I did those things and further add that I was in fact planning to do this, that and the next thing. Sorry 'bout that! I promise I won't do it again!"

I mean, is it just me, or is there something wrong with this picture? My mind boggles...

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Please Note:

All names in this article have been changed for legal purposes and to protect the privacy of the Author. Except where otherwise credited, or where text forms part of an external link, this article is under the following copyright:

Copyright © 2010 Mel Stewart, "safe-at-last", of Perth, Western Australia. All rights reserved.


All persons, places and objects shown in the images in this hub are are shown for illustrative purposes only. They bear no relation to any real person or event. All persons shown are paid models. Unless otherwise credited, all images are under the following copyright:

Copyright © 2010 Mel Stewart, "safe-at-last" and Licensors Nodtronics Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.

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Comments 9 comments

disgusted ... 5 years ago

I can't believe that in your article you seem to make the assumption that the ICL would actually do a damn thing to investigate anything ... i have interviewed 15 women for my psychology honours thesis, and the vast majority of them, and myself as well, have found the ICL to be an utter waste of space/money/oxygen for the work they have done ... not one of the ICLs actually follow the Guidelines and meet with the children - how do you have a professional relationship with someone you've never met???

Quite frankly the child protection AND family law systems are absolute jokes ... it's a disgrace that these things can be allowed to continue and mothers are the ones who suffer time and time again - if you want to read more on this i suggest Phyliss Chessler's book "Mothers on Trial" where she shows that if a mother is custodally challenged by the father, she will LOSE 70% of the time regardless of whether that man is a convivted child sex offender, violent or abusive, she will still LOSE custody to him, and will often be court ordered not to have contact :O


momof2 5 years ago

While I have never beaten or done anything else to abuse my kids, Children's Services has seen fit to take my children from me due to the fact that both I and their father were victims of abuse in various forms as children. I was sexually abused as a child and he was beaten. This apparently was enough "evidence" that we either were or will abuse our children despite the fact that we never so much as spank them. If we do hit them, it's a playful tap (like when we wrestle) or it's a complete accident. I am still fighting for my children and have received some optimistic news. They may be home in about 2 months.


Charles Pragnell 5 years ago

They have now given themselves draconian new powers where they can remove newborns from mothers in maternity wards, presumably on a speculation that the mother may harm the child at some undefined point in the future, and place the child immediately for adoption.(Permanency Planning). These moves are to develop a social engineering programme of removing children from poor and vulnerable families and place them with wealthy but childless couple, thereby depriving the child of their genetic, ethnic, and cultural heritage. A New Stolen Generation of child in WA.!.


TC 5 years ago

My daughter was abused by her dad at 5 and has bipolar I believe due to trauma. CPS was involved and my 17 denied the allegations after telling her story of the abuse during a breakdown. Now 3 yrs later my ex has been investigated by a court mediation investigation and has lost custody and the rights to see our children. CPS would not get involved even though the social worker 3 yrs ago told me she felt he did it & the investigator had his own words about his sexual sickness. Pathetic!!!!


curlykathy 5 years ago

I am a member of an online community and peer support group for people who have experienced abuse in a relationship. Based on our member's stories sadly it seems to be far too common that the services set in place to protect children along with the court systems in most countries fail miserably when dealing with situations where domestic violence is part of the dynamic.

Far too often legitimate concerns are dismissed and the safe parent is treated as a liar or even a criminal.


name withheld, gag order - family court (it's obvious why) 5 years ago

I could tell you my entire horror story and take up pages, but I will just give you the most chilling part of my dealings with the "Child Abuser Protection Agency". My ex did, in fact, tell one particularly dense investigator what was actually happening. My ex lives with his biological mother, shares a bed with her and the child and they “couple” represent themselves publicly as husband and wife. Knowing the social worker would never believe the truth, he told her everything. To any rational person, it is beyond belief what he said could possibly be the truth. She laughed it off as one big joke and told me what a wonderful sense of humor my ex has as she told me everything he confessed (which actually WAS the complete nauseating TRUTH). She gave me the message, "he promised it won't happen again" and told me the investigation was complete. Her findings: "reason to believe, emotional abuse by mother”; “Mother makes derogatory statements regarding child’s father”; “suspected Parental Alienation Syndrome”. I think that about sums up how the system you discussed above works in a nutshell, complete with using a non-existent “syndrome” to drive her point home and ensure complete protection for the abuser. An even more tragic note, the child in question has been forced to share a bed with these twisted individuals since Family court handed her over to her abusers several years ago, when she was 3 years old. We (family and friends) are still fighting to save her.


QudsiaP1 profile image

QudsiaP1 6 years ago

Thank you for raising this issue.


Kaie Arwen profile image

Kaie Arwen 6 years ago

My kids still come up with things during random conversations that I didn't know about........ sexual abuse was not one of them, but there are plenty of ways to abuse someone. Unfortunate, but true. Sadly, no one ever seems to look in the right places, ask the right questions, and even more importantly listen to what they've been told. Listening is the key, it's the things that you don't hear that are the most important. Child and Family Protection............ yeah alright. When they finally admit it doesn't work; they'll just rename it. Beaurocracy = BS


American Romance profile image

American Romance 6 years ago from America

child protective services has failed over and over again, ....just more proof that government cannot do it right!

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