A Child Protective Service

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Alternative Responses







A Child Protective Service (CPS) is a specialized section of the child safety scheme that places emphasis on families in which children are recognized as victims of or in danger of child abuse or neglect (Lau & Morse, 2009). State laws require these CPS to help in preventing maltreatment, abuse or neglect of children. Such agencies play the following roles;

  • Taking reports from individuals who believe children have been neglected or maltreated.
  • Finding out if abuse or neglect of children occurred.
  • Ensuring that there is a plan set up to keep children safe
  • Providing services to families to enhance the safety of their children.

According to the Child Abuse Protection and Treatment Act (CAPTA), child mistreatment and disregard is “any current act, or irresponsibility by the parent or custodian which ends up in demise or severe bodily or mental injury, or sexual exploitation, or presents an impending threat of stern injury.”  Child protective services mainly focus on probable ill-treatment to establish whether children have been or are at danger of being debilitated. These issues are generally administered by legal requirements (Vieth, Bottoms & Perona, 2005). Differential responses enable child safety organizations to get involved with families in supportive ways, usually by dwelling on families’ analysis of strengths and needs and then offering services. Service delivery (alternative response) is based on the cruelty of the suspected abuse and the ability of the family unit to engage in services.

Child Welfare Practices in My State (Florida)

In this section, an analysis of the child protection services used in Florida is conducted, by basing on the role of law enforcement in a differential response system, the availability of resources for families, and the competency of staff working with those families (Hess & Orthmann, 2009).

Family Services Response System (FSRS)

The Florida legislature created the FSRS to give a less adversarial response to various reports of maltreatment by allowing a risk evaluation and delivery of services to remove the risks, while offering support to the family (Lau & Morse, 2009). This system is backed up by state requirements to have personnel in child safety to be qualified. Universities and colleges in Florida offer advanced training to the social workers in the child welfare agency. There is an improved role of law enforcement in the criminal investigation to discover the brutality of the abuse reports and take appropriate actions to suit the requirements of the families.

Alternative Response and Community-based care (CBC)

The differential response system is backed up with the community-based care (CBC) family assessment component. Children protective agencies have cooperative agreements with local law enforcement that assumes the lead in conducting potential criminal investigations arising from allegation of child abuse and neglect. Skilled workforce trained in strength-based and collaborative interventions with manageable workloads is also viewed as being central to successful implementation of a differential response system (Hess & Orthmann, 2009). The decentralization of the child protective services within Florida ensures that most of the communities within counties have access to them and that children are protected from harmful acts and neglect.

Alternative responses in California

California’s child welfare system works jointly with two other primary efforts so as to improve its service delivery in child protection. Safety and Risk Assessment and Permanency and Youth Transition are the agencies with which California’s child protective agency partners (Lau & Morse, 2009). These programs represent a model of California’s CPS that emphasizes on efficient protection. This model is advanced for ascertaining a child’s safety needs once a report has been filed and involves hard work to guarantee that children have lasting, affectionate residences and interactions.

There are three paths in California’s differential response approach; community response; child welfare services and agency partners’ response; and child welfare services response.

Community response

This is chosen when a family is referred to child welfar.............

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