In instances where a child can be safely protected in his or her own home through the provision of services or other assistance to the child’s family, such an alternative is preferable to foster care placement.
Child Protective Services (CPS) is a specialized social service for children believed to be neglected or abused and for their parents or other adults having permanent or temporary care, custody, or parental responsibility, or to household or family members, to decrease the risk of continuing physical, sexual or mental abuse or neglect. In instances where a child can be safely protected in his or her own home through the provision of services or other assistance to the child’s family, such an alternative is preferable to foster care placement.
The goals of CPS are to:
- Protect children and assist parents in providing proper care and attention to children
- Remedy and decrease the risk of continuing abuse and neglect;
- Provide an alternate plan of care for children when parents are unable to provide proper care them;
CPS is not designed to address all issues related to family dysfunction nor the whole range of parent-child problems.
Our focus is on protecting children from abuse and neglect. Child protection is a community responsibility and resources should be coordinated through combined efforts. The community has an obligation to ensure that the required services are available for prevention, intervention, and treatment of child abuse and neglect.
The Rehabilitative Philosophy for CPS assures the safety and welfare of children using a variety of strategies. Our workers enter into a relationship with a family to identify, control and reduce risks to children. Factors relating to the origin of the risk are identified and matched with client outcomes. The treatment process is a deliberate, reasonable, mutually agreed upon strategy to reduce the risk that required CPS intervention. This involves a plan of action to move the family toward desired goals.
Using a combination of support, direction, and authority, the worker may provide direct services to the family members and also act as case manager in coordinating the provision of other services that are needed.
Principles to the social work discipline for CPS is that:
- Most CPS clients can change their behavior if provided sufficient help to motivate and empower them.
- Personal, social and societal factors may lead to inadequate parenting and to child maltreatment.
- Most often, they represent examples of failure and despair, rather than willful premeditated behaviors.
- Child abuse and neglect are principally social rather than legal problems.
- Effective intervention requires CPS to respond in a non-punitive, non-critical manner and most importantly, offer help.
- Child Protective Services should collaborate and coordinate with law enforcement, medical providers, and educational personnel, while maintaining our unique roles and functions.
- It is best to keep children with their parents when safety can be assured.
The ultimate success of CPS intervention rests with the family and they must be encouraged to be involved with and participate in the intervention process.
For more information, please contact:
- Name: Social Services Administration
- Phone: (410) 767-7112
- Email: Vernice.McKee@maryland.gov