If you’re a parent, you’re likely in a near constant protective mode over your child. And while your child may have the majority of your attention, it’s also natural for parents to notice the treatment of other children that they come in contact with. So if you notice something that rubs you the wrong way regarding how a child appears to be treated, that protective mode may move past your own children and onto this child as well. But since this can be very tricky terrain to travel, most parents are very cautious before they report a parent or caregiver for inappropriate behavior. So to help make this decision easier for you, here are three signs that you may want to contact CPS on behalf of a child.
Suspicion of Abuse
While you can never really know what goes on inside of someone else’s home, there are things that you can see, notice, or be told that can give you a good idea of the type of environment being made for a child. And if the environment you see is one where physical abuse seems apparent, contacting CPS may be something you need to do. According to Monica Beyer, a contributor to SheKnows.com, seeing a child that cringes, hides, or shields themselves when sudden movement is made could indicate a history of abuse. Also, if there are unexplained injuries on the child, that could be a sign that abuse is taking place in the home as well.
Evidence of Neglect
Along with physical abuse, another reason you may feel compelled to call social services for a child is if you fear that the child is being neglected. Neglect can manifest itself in many ways, so it can often be hard to know if a child is being severely neglected. But according to Adam Bulger, a contributor to Fatherly.com, two major signs of neglect are if the child is living in an unclean, unsafe, or unlivable environment or if the child is left on their own too often or for too long of a time.
Questionable Behavior From The Parent
In addition to seeing proof of inappropriate behavior through the child, you may also notice some questionable behavior from the parent that might make you feel a call to CPS would be helpful. For example, Kristina Johnson, a contributor to BabyGaga.com, shares that if you know that parents are doing drugs in the home or that a parent has driven their child while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, this is grounds for calling CPS for the protection of the child.
If you’re wondering whether or not you should call CPS to help a child, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you with making this difficult decision.