Can I Still Get in Trouble if I'm the Safe Adult?
Risk of being perceived as a negligent or "unfit" parent
- Take steps immediately when you realize a child is at risk or has been harmed. It is critical that you demonstrate your serious concern by doing what you can to prevent any additional abuse of the child.
- If it is determined by child protective services or the police that you knowingly put a child at risk for sexual abuse, there is the possibility that you might be perceived as negligent or unable to protect a child in your care.
- If child protective services believes that a parent or guardian is not capable of protecting a child from harm, there is risk of losing custody of that child until it is determined that the child can be safely returned home.
As a guardian, do your very best to comply with any requirements
When there is substantiated abuse, there may also be mandates for specialized therapy for the person who has been abusive and for the survivor. There might also be classes or required appointments for the parents, or supervision guidelines that must be adhered to. It is essential that the protective adults in the household access all supports and comply with these requirements to the very best of their ability.