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When should CPS be called?


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  #1  
December 2nd, 2011, 11:15 AM
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A few threads made me curious about this topic, especially since I am a mandated reporter. When do YOU think CPS should be called? Who should make the call? There has to be a balance between interfering with families over nothing and protecting innocent children who may not speak about or hide their abuse.
  #2  
December 2nd, 2011, 11:45 AM
K.A.T's Avatar Enjoying her Sticky Bun
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I need more before I can answer this one. Honestly, I think each case is different and they need to be looked at carefully before making a determination.

I guess if I had to be general, I don't think CPS should be called if a kid comes to school with a bruise that's really not explainable right away. Some kids are clumsy and knock themselves with things all the time and didn't even realize it. My son does this often. Now, if a kid came in with a black eye, that might be a bit different. I think the school nurse or social worker should ask the child questions about it. But not leading questions, KWIM? More like broad questions that will get the child to tell the story without the person putting ideas into the kids head.
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  #3  
December 2nd, 2011, 12:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K.A.T View Post
I guess if I had to be general, I don't think CPS should be called if a kid comes to school with a bruise that's really not explainable right away. Some kids are clumsy and knock themselves with things all the time and didn't even realize it. My son does this often. Now, if a kid came in with a black eye, that might be a bit different. I think the school nurse or social worker should ask the child questions about it. But not leading questions, KWIM? More like broad questions that will get the child to tell the story without the person putting ideas into the kids head.
I agree with this Liz. I had a friend who was afraid to take her son to the ER one time because he had been there a few weeks before - kid just kept getting hurt through no fault of the parents but they were afraid someone would think otherwise.
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  #4  
December 2nd, 2011, 03:41 PM
foxfire_ga79
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I think you should call if your conscience won't let you rest otherwise, but only if you think there's no way to avoid calling and if you think the child is in immediate danger.
  #5  
December 2nd, 2011, 04:12 PM
HappyHippy's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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This is a hard one. My mom and MIL are both mandated reporters as well. So I'm going to ditto Liz.
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  #6  
December 2nd, 2011, 04:25 PM
K.A.T's Avatar Enjoying her Sticky Bun
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All this ditto'n is getting me all hot under the collar.
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  #7  
December 2nd, 2011, 05:33 PM
KimberlyD0
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As a mandated reporter its a criminal offense for me not to report suspected abuse of children in my care.

I don't know if thats the same across Canada, or if its the same in the US.

We are trained though to know "normal" bruising, vs "abnormal" bruising. We also keep records, so its not like the first time a child has a bruise CAS is called, there has to be substantial information to base the call on.

Last edited by KimberlyD0; December 2nd, 2011 at 05:36 PM.
  #8  
December 2nd, 2011, 06:04 PM
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How does one become a mandated reporter? What is that?
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  #9  
December 2nd, 2011, 06:15 PM
HappyHippy's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by *Jillian* View Post
How does one become a mandated reporter? What is that?
Different ways. Daycare providers, Doctors, psychologist/psychiatrist, teachers, etc. are mandated reporters here. Basically if you think a child is being abused, neglected etc. you are suppose to report it, and you need to take notes if a child has bruises or anything like that. Like Kimberly said, in some areas you can get a fine or in trouble if you don't report something and you're a mandated reported. I know for my mom she can call on the first incident and doesnt' have to wait if she thinks a child is being abused.

This link talks a little more about it Mandatory Reporters of Child Abuse and Neglect: Summary of State Laws
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  #10  
December 2nd, 2011, 06:18 PM
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  #11  
December 2nd, 2011, 06:30 PM
KimberlyD0
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MommaBee View Post
Different ways. Daycare providers, Doctors, psychologist/psychiatrist, teachers, etc. are mandated reporters here. Basically if you think a child is being abused, neglected etc. you are suppose to report it, and you need to take notes if a child has bruises or anything like that. Like Kimberly said, in some areas you can get a fine or in trouble if you don't report something and you're a mandated reported. I know for my mom she can call on the first incident and doesnt' have to wait if she thinks a child is being abused.

This link talks a little more about it Mandatory Reporters of Child Abuse and Neglect: Summary of State Laws

^
Yeah this

I'm new to the mandated reporting part of it. While we must report abuse, we also can't just call for anything. There has to be reasonable suspicion. A child having bruises on the front of their leg would be normal, a while with bruising in an unusual spot (like the bum) would be abnormal. We just finished a course about this just this past week. I have an exam about it next week. Its been quiet informative for me.
  #12  
December 2nd, 2011, 06:33 PM
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^What is your job that makes you mandated?
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  #13  
December 2nd, 2011, 06:45 PM
HappyHippy's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Hmm, bum bruises aren't abnormal. My kids constantly jump off the couch, naked, and land on their bum and they have bruising there after awhile. You really have to look at the bruising. Does it look like a child was hit with a hand or object? Or is it more of a fall type bruise? It's the same with any type of bruising really, face, back, legs, etc. Some are consistent with a fall or running into something, and some are more consistent with being hit/whipped/etc.
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  #14  
December 2nd, 2011, 07:18 PM
KimberlyD0
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Quote:
Originally Posted by *Jillian* View Post
^What is your job that makes you mandated?
I'm currently working in the daycare field (while I am finishing college) I'll eventually in the resource teacher program, I'll be working with special needs children.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MommaBee View Post
Hmm, bum bruises aren't abnormal. My kids constantly jump off the couch, naked, and land on their bum and they have bruising there after awhile. You really have to look at the bruising. Does it look like a child was hit with a hand or object? Or is it more of a fall type bruise? It's the same with any type of bruising really, face, back, legs, etc. Some are consistent with a fall or running into something, and some are more consistent with being hit/whipped/etc.
See if your child was in care and we knew this was the case notation would be made saying so.

While bruising on the bum is abnormal, it doesn't equal abuse or a call, but it would be something that would be more noticed.

There are some places where bruising is pretty common, like front of the legs, knees, and forehead. Others not so common, like the eyes (full black eyes) bum, neck and tummy. Places where there is more fat is more cushioned tend to not bruise as easily.

It wouldn't be a "oh his bum has a bruise, call CAS" it would be "oh his bum is bruised ask mom and dad, make a note and keep an eye on it."

While reporting is mandatory, its not done lightly. Also if someone was stupid enough to knowingly file a false claim they could be charged for that as well. They can't be charged for reporting suspected abuse if non is found, but they can if its vindictive. (like if I reported someone because I just didn't like them I could be charged)
  #15  
December 2nd, 2011, 07:26 PM
fluffycheeks's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Oh crap, my son has the hugest bum bruise ever right now. He was standing up to wash himself in the tub and sat down hard on the faucet. Youch! He was no bum fat whatsoever to protect it. I hope no mandated reporters see it.


As for the op, I would have to be close to 100% positive to call, or feel that if I didn't call the child would be in immediate danger.
  #16  
December 2nd, 2011, 07:54 PM
KimberlyD0
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fluffycheeks View Post
Oh crap, my son has the hugest bum bruise ever right now. He was standing up to wash himself in the tub and sat down hard on the faucet. Youch! He was no bum fat whatsoever to protect it. I hope no mandated reporters see it.


As for the op, I would have to be close to 100% positive to call, or feel that if I didn't call the child would be in immediate danger.
please. The bruise itself is not enough to get a call.

Your entirely missing the point.

Everyone knows bruising is normal. Some places are more common then others of course. Unusual bruises are not reported automatically. They're noted and parents are asked. Most of the time is something perfectly normal and left behind. Its when you have unusual bruising combined with other issues, or the bruising looks suspicious (like it looks like a hand print) that its closely monitored.

Mandated reporting doesn't mean you report everything. Its just means if have reasonable cause for suspicion you must report it. By reasonable this means severe bodily harm, or a history of suspicion injuries.

Its not a one time explainable bruise. Even a black eye doesn't mean automatic reporting, after all a child could have gotten into a fight. But if a child comes in regularly covered in unexplainable bruises then yes it has to be reported.

Reports are not made lightly. Not at all. There has to be supporting evidence to go with it. Its not like mandated reporters are just waiting to report hoards of innocent parents of abusing their children.


On a side note, DD#2 did that when she was about 2 and hit the back of her head. Had to get stitched and everything it was horrible. No permanent damage thankfully.
  #17  
December 2nd, 2011, 08:20 PM
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^^^^ You're entirely missing the sarcasm.

For the OP, I'd have to judge it on a case by case basis. I think of it as something I can't explain but know it when I see it.

I do have to say if I had a strong enough inkling of sexual abuse, I would probably call with out having absolute proof as there isn't always visual or tangible confirmation.
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  #18  
December 2nd, 2011, 08:22 PM
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I guess I'm thinking of the situations over the clothes and the 200 lb kid. Some people also relayed some experiences where it would be reasonable to assume abuse/shaken baby, but it was actually a medical condition. I think, although I could be wrong, someone stated they wouldn't call unless they knew for certain it was abuse. It is rare that you would know for sure, so you go by liklihood. So for example, would you call over a fat kid? A dirty kid? A certain of bruise? A comment the child made? Or none at all unless you actually witnessed abuse?
  #19  
December 2nd, 2011, 08:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Star Light View Post
I guess I'm thinking of the situations over the clothes and the 200 lb kid. Some people also relayed some experiences where it would be reasonable to assume abuse/shaken baby, but it was actually a medical condition. I think, although I could be wrong, someone stated they wouldn't call unless they knew for certain it was abuse. It is rare that you would know for sure, so you go by liklihood. So for example, would you call over a fat kid? A dirty kid? A certain of bruise? A comment the child made? Or none at all unless you actually witnessed abuse?
I am a mandated reporter (teacher). Our school's policy with abuse is that if it's not immediately obvious it was definitely or very probably abuse, then we need to document and establish a timeline. We document every incident, every mark, etc, and take pictures if we can get away with it. A fat kid, dirty kid, bruise, or a comment wouldn't warrant a call to CPS. It would warrant a file being opened and vigilant watching.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Poncho06 View Post
^^^^ You're entirely missing the sarcasm.

For the OP, I'd have to judge it on a case by case basis. I think of it as something I can't explain but know it when I see it.

I do have to say if I had a strong enough inkling of sexual abuse, I would probably call with out having absolute proof as there isn't always visual or tangible confirmation.
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  #20  
December 2nd, 2011, 08:47 PM
fluffycheeks's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Star Light View Post
I guess I'm thinking of the situations over the clothes and the 200 lb kid. Some people also relayed some experiences where it would be reasonable to assume abuse/shaken baby, but it was actually a medical condition. I think, although I could be wrong, someone stated they wouldn't call unless they knew for certain it was abuse. It is rare that you would know for sure, so you go by liklihood. So for example, would you call over a fat kid? A dirty kid? A certain of bruise? A comment the child made? Or none at all unless you actually witnessed abuse?
That would be me on the baby with the medical condition that was mistaken for shaken baby. It happened to a good friend of mine and led to the baby and her brother being removed from their parents for months. I've had 2 other friends whose children were removed needlessly as well. I used to think CPS always acted for the good of the child and the family. While I still think they do a lot of good, they seem to have an act now, assess later attitude a lot, which is why I'd need to be pretty darn certain that there was just cause. Like Jaime said, it's more of a know it when I see it type deal. No, I wouldn't need to see the actual abuse taking place, but I'm also not going to call on a kid I see at the mall with dozens of bruises all over their face and body because I know zero about that situation.
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