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Is child protective services effective?

An article called "Is child protective services effective?" in this month's Children and Youth Services Review finds that CPS involvement does not reduce the risk of further substantiated maltreatment. It highlights both the need to improve interventions and questions current mandates that are not garnering results.

As the article explains, one possible reason interventions may be less effective is that most CPS cases are opened for neglect, not abuse, and most services are aimed at eliminating abuse. If neglect has a different origin, and results more from socio-economic factors, then the current family-based services would miss the mark. As poverty is considered an ACE and serves as a risk for adverse outcomes, is it time for CPS services to once again include antipoverty interventions in its repertoire?

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Thanks for sharing your story. I agree that the child welfare system misses on a lot of fronts and tends to pile more ACEs on to people who have already experienced many. Instead of maintaining your sibling relationships, they caused you more stress. Hopefully we can work to get the system to work better.

When I entered child welfare, the worker who came into my beat down, no plumbing trailer asked me what I did to make my parents - parents who had provided me with 10 ACEs- so mad?   I was going to be Valedictorian despite all the Hell and Pain I had endured. They separated me from my brother and sister and put them in a separate foster home where I had no contact.   When I called, the new home my sister was in told me to never call back because my sister had a new family now.   I almost died from a Tylenol overdose because of that. It was the first, but not the last time I would attempt suicide and I was only 16.  My local Child Welfare doesn’t see value in the science of adversity. I think that’s because they are siloed with community mental health. We don’t have resources for things like PCIT.   We only have a few who can do TF-CBT.   Because if this drugs are our main treatment.   The science of adversity isn’t comparable with trying to medicate away a broken heart.  Only changing the environment and love can do that. 

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