What do you do?
We are advocates on behalf of children. We do all we can to help and protect them. Our loyalty is to them and their best interest.
We gather information and facts and act to see that the child is safe and taken care of; protected and healthy.
We report suspected abuse, neglect or abandonment to social services or law enforcement, in order to protect the child.
What if I report it and there is nothing wrong?
As a witness, you need to immediately report what you have seen to local social services or law enforcement.
Should you report to us, understand that we encourage you to report it yourself; but know that we intend to report on what information we have.
If you are able to see marks that may indicate abuse, and they are not hidden by clothes, there may be more that are covered up. This should be reported, as well.
If there is a child that just doesn’t quite act right. More than just shy and reserved, maybe detached and a loner. Certainly that is not the only sign that something is wrong, but for the safety of the child, it would be best to report. If nothing is wrong; that would be good. But, if there is you have done your part to take care of the child and their safety; leaving those decisions up to those that are charged with investigating.
If I report this to you and I am wrong, will they find out? And, if I report it to law enforcement or social services, will they find out that I made it?
A report to Social Services, by law, is confidential as to who actually made the report.
What if they take the children away?
Placement of the children, while there is an investigation may be common. Sometimes they can be placed with a relative that has been checked out beforehand; or in foster care. Under some conditions, the parents may be able to visit. And , if so, those visits could be supervised by policy of the agency, or ordered supervised by the court.
What if someone gets arrested?
If someone is arrested, then a crime may have been committed. Nonetheless, that is not your responsibility one way
Two courts may have a role in this process. It could be Family Court; or Criminal Court and sometimes both.
Will I be able to see the children again, if social services or law enforcement takes the children?
So much of that will depend on how you know this child or children. But, that would be up to the agency and ultimately, the court.
What will happen to the children?
There are so many factors involved, this is hard to answer. The short term may be easier to explain, but long term there are just too many factors to project.