Setting: USA (New Jersey), present day
Situation: I have a character (girl, 16) who's being emotionally and physically abused by her parents (abuse includes hitting, and in one instance throwing acid at the child). Among others, her parents are not letting her go to school or educating her at home. She's too afraid to call child services, but wants to try to get in touch with a school counselor in a nearby school to tell them her parents aren't letting her study. I have several questions:
1. How fast would a school counselor be able to take action, if at all? Would they involve child services right away? Time is of essence, since if her parents find out, the potential for the abuse to increase is very real
2. Would her parents be arrested? The girl has two younger siblings and is afraid of what would happen to them.
3. If she and her siblings were to be placed in foster homes, how would the procedure go? Does the situation of a child decide where s/he gets sent?
Thanks in advance for the help!