Carabas (of_carabas) wrote in little_details,

Investigating child abuse/neglect

I've checked google and wikipedia on this, and while I've found plenty of lists of the signs of abuse and who to call, I'm having trouble finding details on just how child services works.

An elementary school teacher suspects one of her students is being abused at home; he keeps coming in with bruises, a broken arm, and when he's asked what happened he says his father made him promise not to tell. But he denies that his father's beating him. Is this enough to call in child services? And as a teacher, should she call child services directly, or does she meet with the father first, or does she tell her principal (in which case, does he call the father/child services)? If child services is called in, what kind of action can they take? (I don't want them to take the kid away, because the father isn't beating him, but I want to know how much trouble this teacher can get him into on her suspicion. Just having someone ask the father if he's beaten the boy would suffice, but I don't know whether a teacher would confront him directly or if there are more official channels she would go through.)

Similarly, child services finds two children are being neglected to the point that they need to be taken away from their parents. How does this work? Can they just come to the door one day and take the kids away? Do the parents go to court? Where do the kids go immediately - as in before long-term arrangements can be made - and are siblings kept together?

Thanks in advance.
Tags: usa: education (misc), usa: government (misc), ~custody & social services

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