Is CPS on the prowl?


Is Abuse and Neglect on the rise or is CPS on the prowl? You have probably seen the posts on social media and the news of growing concern towards a possible increase in abuse and neglect because of the stay at home orders. This concern is a valid but I’m curious as to whether or not there is actual data to prove these concerns or are we just relying on assumptions? The Texas Tribune recently reported that starting in February the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services has received less hotline tips since society started moving towards self-isolation. Normally, this decrease in calls occurs during the summer months because kids are out of school.  The same trend is happening with the closures and child welfare advocates believe that abuse is on the rise and the reason for less calls to the hotline is that children are not being seen on a regular basis by school personnel. I couldn’t help but question all of this thinking when the amount of calls to our office from parents requesting help with CPS has increased despite the decrease in calls to the CPS hotline. Why the increase in calls to our office and are the child welfare advocates correct in their fears? This question became even more suspicious when numerous calls we received started coming from previous clients. These previous clients had previous dealings with CPS and there is a tangible reality that these clients could have a higher probability of being involved in future incidents of neglect and abuse. At the same time, there should be some genuine concern that these parents might be the target of some organized follow up based on the dangerous sentiment that abuse and neglect must be on the rise because of the lock downs. I don’t have the answers but  this reality makes it more important to require the Department to share evidence and prove their case and not go on “fishing” expeditions.

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