Child Protective Services and Police
Who participates in the investigation?
Investigations may be managed by child protective services, by the police, or by both. When criminal acts may have taken place, only the police can make arrests. The team of professionals involved in investigations can include a protective services worker, a doctor, therapist, social worker and law enforcement officials. Interviews may be held with the child, a non-offending parent, and the person suspected of sexually abusing. Sometime interviews are also held with the child’s brothers and sisters, and anyone else who may have knowledge about possible danger to the child such as neighbors, teachers, child care providers, doctors and therapists. As part of the investigation, the child is sometimes given a physical exam for the purpose of collecting evidence or attending to medical needs. Legally admissible confessions or disclosures often must be made directly to an investigator or professional.
The difference between an “unsubstantiated” report and one that is “substantiated”:
If after investigating, CPS or police find that the report is “unsubstantiated” this means that from the information they were able to gather, abuse or neglect were not clearly indicated. In this kind of situation, a report is written and the case is closed.
If the investigation “substantiates” the report, or concludes that the report indicates abuse or considerable risk, interventions are taken to protect the child from immediate harm. Police are also involved when criminal acts have taken place. Once the child is out of immediate danger, CPS decides what kind of follow-up actions are needed to keep the child safe. Follow-up actions might include ongoing supervision by the Department of Social Services, counseling for the abused child and support programs for family members.
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- Recognizing Warning Signs
- Definitions of Child Sexual Abuse
- How Abuse Happens
- Understanding Sexual Behavior in Kids
- Warning Signs in Adults and Children
- Warning Signs of Abuse in Children (Behavioral and Physical)
- Signs an Adult May be At-Risk to Harm a Child
- Behaviors to Watch Out for When Adults are with Children
- How Can I Tell if My Child Has Been Sexually Abused?
- Warning Signs a Young Person May Be a Target of Online Sexual Abuse
- Warning Signs of Someone's Dangerous or Illegal Online Activity
- Prevention and Safety
- Keys to Preventing Sexual Abuse of Children
- Creating a Plan for Safety
- Considering Filing Reports
- Talking About It
- Finding the Courage to Speak Up
- Speaking to Someone with a Sexual Behavior Problem
- When a Child Tells About Sexual Abuse
- How Should I Respond to the Child?
- What Should I Do after a Child Tells?
- How Can I Better Understand What My Child is Going Through?
- Possible Reactions of Non-Offending Parents and Caring Adults
- Is the Child Telling Me the Truth?
- What Might the Person Who Has Offended Be Thinking or Feeling after a Disclosure?
- Recovery and Therapy
- For Children and Adults Who Have Been Abused
- For Those At-Risk to Abuse Others or Who Have Offended
- For Parents and Caregivers
- Reporting and Legal Issues
- Filing Reports
- Child Protective Services and Police
- Legal Issues