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Policy Response to a Social Problem

Child Protective Services (CPS) is an integral aspect of the child welfare system that protects children from abuse and neglect. Each state in the US has various Child Protective Services laws and regulations due to federal and state-specific rules. The urge to defend children and keep them healthy and happy inspired the implementation of Child Protective Services regulations. Child Protective Services has evolved with societal attitudes about child protection and key occurrences that necessitated government intervention. This essay will examine the key aspects of Child Protective Services policies, how well they solve social issues, their flaws, and how well they match with social work beliefs. These features help people understand how Child Protective Services policies affect child safety and how social work concepts can improve problems.

New York’s Child Protective Services (CPS) Act has evolved with society’s views on child welfare and reactions to severe abuse and neglect (Feely et al., 2020). Ethel Wheeler, a Christian missionary, learned about Mary Ellen Wilson’s problems when she was nine years old in 1874 (Lounsbery Law Office,2023). While living in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen, the girl’s parents beat her and did not care for her. When the police would not look into it, Wheeler turned to kid charities for help. They were a government, but they could not do anything to fix the problem. Then she talked to Henry Bergh, who started the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Bergh then got in touch with his lawyer, Elbridge Gerry. Gerry was able to get Mary Ellen out of a terrible situation by using the law. However, Berg and Gerry were moved by what they saw and decided to start a nongovernmental charitable group whose mission is to protect children. The group was known as the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NYSPCC). It is the first group in US history whose only goal is to protect children. Elbridge Gerry was made head of the NYSPCC and kept that job until the early 1900s. By 1922, protecting children had grown by leaps and bounds. At this time, 300 non-government groups in the US looked out for children. These services were not available in most cities or nearly all rural places, which was a shame. As the 1920s came to a close, states were really in charge of child welfare policy and funds. The federal government, on the other hand, did not do much. The 1930s, the start of the Great Depression, were the first years that the federal government really got involved in social aid. In 1935, President Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act into law. It included help for kids who depend on their parents. The decision was most different because of a small but essential part that gave the Children’s Bureau more power. Much attention was paid to making sure that children in rural places who were dependent or neglected were still safe. Unfortunately, non-government protection groups went out of business during the Great Depression. Also, getting help from the government was, at best, haphazard, making it hard to get help for child safety from the government. However, the building blocks for the current form of Child Protective Services were put in place. Only three states did not have a youth court by 1919, but they quickly added one. These courts were now able to get involved in cases of child abuse and neglect. As soon as medical schools started giving doctors the training they needed, they became essential in raising knowledge of child abuse in the 1960s. By 1967, all 50 states had laws that said doctors and nurses had to report cases of suspected child abuse. In 1963, California passed its first rule that required physicals to report suspected child abuse. This change was caused mainly by a paper written in 1946 by a pediatric radiologist named John Caffey. With the growth of other child welfare institutions, protective services groups also grew.

The Child Protective Services Act has most of its power in New York state. The Child Protective Services Act addresses child abuse and neglect in New York. Child welfare is regarded as a nationwide concern. New York’s Child Protective Services Act follows state laws to safeguard children’s safety and well-being. A vital principle of the Child Protective Services Act is that child welfare laws must be adapted to each state’s population. State-level authority allows localized and relevant child abuse and neglect response. By working at the state level, the Child Protective Services Act may adjust to New York’s socioeconomic, cultural, and demographic circumstances. Various places have various child welfare issues and dynamics. New York’s legislature can enact, modify, or revoke the Child Protective Services Act. The state is committed to enhancing child welfare measures. However, this legislative power updates the Child Protective Services Act to reflect the state’s values and goals and evolving child welfare attitudes. The CPS Act covers many state child protective services workers. Child protection agencies, police enforcement, healthcare personnel, educators, and social workers are examples. Teaching and health care staff are mandatory reporters under the Child Protective Services Act, starting the child protection procedure by reporting suspected child abuse and neglect.

Child protective services in New York were inspired by one such case. In 1874, Mary Ellen Wilson, who was ten years old at the time, lived through the first well-known case of child abuse in the United States. During a time when hurting animals was more important than caring for children, many well-known people in New York, including the famous social worker Marietta “Etta” Wheeler, spoke out for Mary Ellen. Wheeler told the police about the claims that Mary Ellen’s adoptive mother abused her physically, but they refused to look into the matter. At the time, many groups helped kids, but when Wheeler asked for help, they were not allowed to get involved with the family. In the end, Wheeler talked to Henry Bergh, who started the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). Bergh and his lawyer tried to find a formal way to save Mary Ellen, and a judge told the girl’s foster mother to take her away. The New York State Supreme Court heard the case, and the foster mother of the girl was found guilty of assault and battery, which was the first child abuse conviction in the country. After Mary Ellen was saved, Bergh worked to start the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, a charity that works to protect children. This change was the first in a series that will help protect kids from being abused or neglected. Mary Ellen Wilson’s case, on the other hand, only became public because an unknown “concerned neighbour” asked an activist who worked in the area to check on the child.

Child Protective Services (CPS) is in charge of looking into reports of child abuse or neglect, deciding if it happened, and stepping in to make sure the child is safe. Usually, Child Protective Services agencies help families find the right support services to keep their kids safe and improve their health. If they think it is necessary, these services also find other places for kids to live or try to get parents’ rights taken away. Even though Child Protective Services organizations are different in each state and county, professional standards of conduct have been widely accepted and put into place. Community members who have a good reason to think that a child or young person under 17 is at risk of harm should report it to Child Protection. The main function of Child Protection is to ensure that children are not at harm. The program helps kids and their families get in touch with programs that can help keep kids safe and healthy. Child protection programs also put the Children’s Court to help if the child is in grave danger and their safety cannot be guaranteed in their own home. Making sure kids are safe is the job of the family, the neighborhood as a whole, community groups, people who work with kids, the police, and the government. The short-term and long-term effects of child abuse can be lessened with early detection, and successful intervention can also help the children and families involved get better. Child Protective Services is charged with ruling out and addressing cases regarding children, and this could include When a child is hit, punched, slapped, whipped, beaten, or burned and gets cuts, bruises, scrapes, blood, burns, or fractures, this is called physical abuse. The physical harm was not done by accident. It puts the person at a high risk of dying, being seriously or permanently disfigured, having their physical or mental health get worse over time, or losing or not being able to use any body organ for a long time. It is now where the Child protection services come into place. Another form is the sexual abuse. Being sexually abused means that a parent or caretaker touches a child to satisfy their sexual needs or that the child is encouraged or forced to touch the parent or caretaker to satisfy their sexual needs. It also means that a child is sexually abused when they are having sexual relations with another child or adult or when they are exposed to sexual activity or exhibitionism for sexual stimulation. Lastly is the emotional abuse and maltreatment(Baker et al., 2021). The child is emotionally abused when a parent or caretaker acts in a way that hurts the child’s mental health or well-being. The effect can be seen in the child’s bad performance or behavior, and the parent or caretaker’s actions make it very hard for the child to function properly. For instance, a child who is repeatedly left alone, scared, embarrassed, put down, or threatened shows effects like acting aggressively or hurtfully toward others, not being able to think and reason, not being able to speak and use language correctly, acting very passively, withdrawing from others a lot, experiencing psychosomatic symptoms, or having severe anxiety. A mental health worker should evaluate the child to see if the child’s problem is caused by something the parent or caretaker did or did not do.

There are several ways to detect, help, and stop child abuse and neglect in the Child Protective Services (CPS) Act. The law requires teachers, doctors, and social professionals to report suspected child abuse or neglect. According to the statute, child protective services, law enforcement, and other entities must work together to verify reports and assess the child’s risk. Child placement laws consider dangers and offer foster care or protective custody. At-risk families must get counseling, parental aid, and training to prevent their problems from worsening. The Child Protective Services Act also covers law, investigation, and support.

For child abuse and neglect investigations, the New York Child Protective Services Act is organized and comprehensive. Systematic child risk, intervention, and report validity are ensured. Law enforcement, CPS, and others investigate child welfare multidisciplinaryly. Children’s protective services verify abuse and neglect reports. CPS Act-compliant investigations ensure uniformity and ethical and legal compliance. This alliance investigates reported cases with child welfare and law enforcement. Police must investigate severe bodily injury or sexual abuse. The investigation focuses on child risk assessment. Child age, susceptibility, family context, and reported abuse type and amount are considered in this continuous risk assessment. The CPS Act defines hazard and intervention urgency.

Family well-being, child safety, and abuse and neglect prevention measure Child Protective Services effectiveness. Healthy child development, less abuse, and better family functioning are possible. Continuous professional training and systemic child abuse concerns may make CPS Act implementation difficult. Analysis and legislation change are needed to improve child safety and adapt to social changes. On several levels, the Child Protective Services (CPS) Act affects New York’s child abuse and neglect problem. Under statutory reporting criteria, frequent child workers can report suspected incidents for early detection and intervention. Police, child protective services, and others investigate child safety allegations. Protection of high-risk children is provided. Prevention programs stress addressing child abuse’s causes. CPS Act effectiveness depends on resources, thorough investigations, and family support. To protect children from abuse and neglect, the law must be updated and effective.

New York child abuse and neglect changed after the Child Protective Services Act. Through reporting, investigation, and child placement, the law has improved identification and intervention, but measuring its prevalence is difficult. Treatment of root causes reduces risks before they escalate. Available resources, structural issues, and changing social dynamics affect the Child Protective Services Act’s effectiveness. Continuous assessment is needed to determine if the condition has worsened, improved, or stabilized. Updated New York child abuse and neglect laws require research and review.

The New York Child Protection Act strictly regulates child abuse and neglect investigations. These levels handle organized child abuse, neglect, and other allegations. Multiple perspectives are used by police, Child Protective Services, and other stakeholders to investigate child welfare issues. Child protective services investigate child abuse and neglect reports. All investigations follow the Child Protective Services Act’s strict moral and legal compliance criteria. Child welfare and law enforcement investigate reported cases together. Severe physical or sexual abuse requires police intervention. The investigation seeks to determine if it endangers children. This ongoing risk assessment considers the type and severity of abuse, the child’s age and susceptibility, and the family circumstances. The Child Protective Services Act may define harm and require emergency aid.

New York Child Protective Services (CPS) Act opponents have raised various difficulties. Unfair systems may hurt certain groups more (Dettlaff & Boyd, 2020). Some worry that increased foster care and removals may upset families rather than address abuse. Families may struggle to help with preventative measures if they need more money or attention. Overworked child protection services may hinder investigations. These statements show how hard it is to protect children and keep families. These concerns must be considered in light of the system’s complexity and the need to improve regulations and processes. To make the Child Protective Services Act more effective and fair, these difficulties must be addressed, openness encouraged, and the law administered relatively.

Social workers prioritize child, family, and community safety and well-being, as does the New York Child Protective Services Act. Reporting requirements support social work advocacy and vulnerable group protection. This statute supports cross-disciplinary social work by making certain professions reporters. The Act emphasizes child safety and family preservation through inquiry, urgent threat, and preventive programs that support social work values of client empowerment, self-determination, and problem-solving. Preventive social work emphasizes early support and intervention and is strengths-based. It is difficult to follow the law to accomplish social work goals, eliminate bias, and promote cultural competence. Social workers at Child Protective Services must balance child protection and family unity. Challenging ethical considerations arise. According to Kotsiuba (2023), social work values in the Child Protective Services Act framework include aiding families, culturally sensitive interventions, and rights protection. Child welfare experts and social workers must examine the Child Protective Services Act, train each other, and regularly collaborate to ensure it aligns with social work ideals and solves ethical issues that benefit kids and families.

By adopting some adjustments, the New York Child Protective Services (CPS) Act can better reflect social work beliefs. CPS staff need greater cultural competency and prejudice training first (Reddy et al., 2022). This would ensure that research, exams, and interventions account for diverse family contexts and eliminate biases. To help families collaborate and make decisions, the Act should clearly mix strengths-based and family-centered approaches. Preventative services must include early intervention and child abuse investigation. Community-based therapy, parenting support, and family-specific education might receive more funding. Instead of removals and foster care, the Act should emphasize recovery and help to support family unity. Social workers use this strategy to empower clients to make their own decisions. Numerous resources are needed with the aim of ensuring that the entire child welfare system is used to the benefit of families and children (Fong, 2020). The system should undergo timely supervision and monitoring in order to make sure it is flexible and can adapt to different kinds of environments, even political ones. The Child Protection Services should also put a major emphasis on building trust and transparency between them and the families so they can formulate policies that work in the best interest of the children.

In conclusion, Child protection services serve to fight and advocate for the rights of children and put away any discrimination and oppression they may be facing. Child protection services should come up with very strict rules on people threatening or even mishandling children, which would affect the emotions of children.


Baker, A. J., Brassard, M. R., & Rosenzweig, J. (2021). Psychological maltreatment: Definition and reporting barriers among American professionals in the field of child abuse. Child Abuse & Neglect114, 104941.

Dettlaff, A. J., & Boyd, R. (2020). Racial disproportionality and disparities in the child welfare system: Why do they exist, and what can be done to address them? The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science692(1), 253-274.

Feely, M., Raissian, K. M., Schneider, W., & Bullinger, L. R. (2020). The social welfare policy landscape and child protective services: Opportunities for and barriers to creating systems synergy. The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science692(1), 140–161.

Fong, K. (2020). Getting eyes in the home: Child protective services investigations and state surveillance of family life. American Sociological Review85(4), 610–638.

Kotsiuba, R. (2023). Status of Human Rights in the European Court of Human Rights and the Landmark Case of Strand Lobben (Master’s thesis, OsloMet-Storbyuniversitetet).

Lounsbery Law Office. (2023). A Historical View of Child Protective Services.

Reddy, J., Williams-Isom, A., & Putnam-Hornstein, E. (2022). Racial sensitivity training: An inadequate solution to systemic racial disparities in child protection systems. Child Abuse & Neglectp. 128, 105584.


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