Our Children Services team works with key partners, including law enforcement, when investigating abuse and neglect of children. CCDJFS caseworkers complete specialized training, including forensic interviewing, for children believed to be victims of child sexual abuse. CCDJFS caseworks consult with agency legal counsel to seek orders from the Court to intervene when safety issues in the home cannot be resolved with less restrictive measures and make active efforts to help the family resolve the safety issue for their children to return home.
Collaboration is important in child protective services. We’ve often heard the adage that it takes a community to raise a child; it also takes a community to protect a child. A common misperception about child protective services is that it should intervene before any abuse or neglect happens, but unfortunately this is not how child protective services is federally designed. Children services must have an allegation of child abuse or neglect already occurring to be allowed to investigate or assess the child and family. The design of children services is then to intervene to prevent further or additional abuse or neglect of the child, a process in which the children services worker must show evidence to a Court for the intervention.
This means that primary prevention, the prevention of child abuse or neglect before it ever occurs even once, cannot occur within the framework of children services investigations. Because of this, CCDJFS offers the opportunity for families and caregivers to reach out for assistance before the family is in crisis. It is also why CCDJFS stresses the importance of connections within the community; it is in the community where families can feel supported and primary prevention can occur. CCDJFS joins many community collaborations that help families get the resources they need to support the work of primary prevention in the community. These collaborations are a true demonstration of a community working together to protect children and to build better futures for families.