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Overlooked Child Abuse - Child Services and False Reports
Every day there are many false reports made to child protective services agencies. This poses a great danger for children who actually need their homes investigated for abuse. The workers at these agencies are so overbooked with calls that it becomes harder and harder for them to properly investigate homes for abuse. By this continuing to happen more and more children are being left in abusive homes instead of being rescued from their abusers before it is too late.
A Child's Story
My name is Adam and I am eight years old. I have a younger sister, Amy, who just turned three. We live with our mom and dad. It is not always nice to be at home because my dad can get angry very quickly. He is very strict and very scary. I always remember him fighting with my mom, and her always crying. Now he is starting to get mad at me and my sister. If we forget to clean up or if we are playing too loudly he begins to scream. If we do something really awful, like forgetting to flush the toilet, we get hit. It hurts really bad and when he hits my sister I want to stop him. I wish I was bigger so that I can protect her, but I am not big enough yet. When he begins to yell we become frozen with fear. Sometimes mom tries to calm him down but it doesn't work. Instead she gets hit along with us. She tells us all the time that our dad is a good man and that he wants the best for us, but I don't believe her. At school they tell us that no one should be beaten, especially to the point of bruising. I pray every night for it to stop or for someone to find out and report it. The problem is everyone thinks we are a happy family.
Child Protective Services were called last month and I was never so happy to see someone in my life. The lady told my parents that they had received an anonymous call regarding suspected child abuse. She sat down with my family to do an investigation. While we were all sitting together in the living room she asked the big question. "Adam, do your parents ever hit you or your sister?" There I was with the perfect opportunity to end this for me and my sister but when I opened my mouth the word "No" came out. In my head I thought "what am I saying, tell her the truth" but sitting there with my dad looking at me, frozen in fear about what the truth would bring to me and my sister, I just could not bring myself to say yes. Now this is my fault for us continuing to be abused. I had my chance to speak but couldn't. Now what am I supposed to do?
Overlooked Child Abuse
Overlooked child abuse does not need to happen. If there were stricter laws set in place regarding false reports the number of cases not investigated properly would drop dramatically. Anyone at anytime can report anyone for child abuse whether it be true or false. The people making the false accusations are protected by being able to make anonymous calls. If people had no choice but to give their name and information it would then deter more individuals away from false reporting another person of abuse.
If the number of calls coming into a child protection agency were only for legitimate suspected abuse cases it would increase the chances for abuse to be discovered. The caseworkers would no longer have to determine whether someone called with the proper motives. In my opinion, you should have to give your name and information to report suspected child abuse with the information you give being held confidentially by the agency itself.
False Abuse Reports
I feel that a person making a known false abuse report should be considered a crime. You are putting abused children in greater danger by filling the caseloads of the agency workers with false reports. You are not allowing them to focus on what is important because they are trying to decipher whether it is true or false. Abusers are smooth talkers and can make people believe what they want them to believe making it hard to pick up on their true self right away. Once an abuser realizes he fooled this agency it becomes much worse for the child/children involved because it confirms to the child/children that the abuser just might actually be invincible.
Ending False Reports
I feel that by requiring information from the caller that it would put an end to false reports. By having to give your name, phone number, address, and possible a social security number, less people would call in with lies. This would also help with determining if a specific person keeps making an outrageous amount of calls on others, or can help determine if the same people are being reported by the same people. It would give agency workers a better chance to investigate the family accused of abuse more extensively and it can give the children a safer outcome and life.
There should also be strict charges for making false child abuse reports. It is not right to seek revenge on someone by falsely reporting them for child abuse. You are not hurting the person who is not abusing their child, instead you are hurting the children who are being abused by taking away the time for proper investigations!!! Large fines or possible jail time should be given to someone using child abuse as a form of harassment against another person!!
It has been three months since my family was visited by our CPS caseworker and trust me it has not been pretty. More yelling, more screaming and more bruising is what me and Amy, along with my mom, endured from my dad. But fortunately for me and Amy our neighbor Kate reported my dad for abuse. A new caseworker came to see us yesterday and she handled our investigation so much differently. She questioned me and Amy away from our parents so we were able to speak truthfully without the fear of a later beating. She also informed my parents that is was not an anonymous call but she did not reveal the caller's name at that time. My dad was taken to jail on abuse charges. Me and Amy are staying with our grandparents for a short while. Mom can come and visit with us but she has to complete some classes and counseling before we can stay with her again. I guess they want to teach her how to better protect us. She loves us very much but the fear my dad had over her was the same as we had felt. As for my dad, I don't know when we will see him, I am just hoping that when I do I am bigger and more capable of protecting myself and Amy.