Every state, including New York, has a child protective services division in charge of investigating suspected instances of child abuse by a parent or guardian of a child. When this kind of suspicion arises, the first three steps of a child abuse intervention are investigation, intervention and removal. Let’s take a look at these three steps here:
When protective child services receives information concerning the possibility of child abuse, law enforcement agencies will get involved. Usually, the local police department will begin to conduct an investigation into the abuse, which will involve interviewing the parents, or other individuals suspected of committing the abuse. The child victims and other children close to the matter will also be interviewed. Evidence, such as injuries and medical records will also be examined. Teachers and doctors could also be questioned.
After completion of the investigation, child protective services along with law enforcement agencies will make the determination as to whether sufficient evidence exists to substantiate that child abuse has occurred. If the evidence is there, then the agency will take intervention measures to ensure that the child abuse stops. There are several ways that agents will intervene. In minor cases of abuse, like neglecting to remove a child from a hot vehicle, parents may be required to meet with a social worker.
In more severe cases of abuse, if the child is in danger, he or she will be removed from the parent’s home. In these cases, the child could be put in a foster care system until the parents show their ability to end their abuse. In more extreme situations, the parental rights could be completely terminated by the court, and the child will be put up for adoption.
Navigating issues relating to suspected child abuse can be difficult and emotional for all parties involved. However, with the assistance of an experienced New York family law lawyer, these matters can be navigated appropriately and with confidence.
Source: FindLaw, “Child abuse cases,” accessed Nov. 17, 2016.