Saint Leo University
Investigation of Child Abuse
April 20, 2014
Our law enforcement officer have many different task in their hands, but all of them are for the safety and protection of our community and our society. Officer often work really hard to promote a climate of security but we all have to help in the process of making a better world. One of the task that police officer have, in the prevention and intervention on child abuse and neglect cases. As wrong as it sounds there are plenty of people abusing of our kids in a day to day basis. This is been done by physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse and neglect, where in cases the child do not ...view middle of the document...
In some cases family court can decide if parental rights are concluded due to the brutality of the case.
We count with specialist that can deal with child abuse such as Child Protective Services (CPS). CPS examine reports of child abuse and neglect to determine if the accusations are truth. CPS are the one who start the investigation of reports directed by law. Caseworkers are the ones who decide if there any danger to the safety of the kids at home. A case reported to the CPS should be completed within 30 days but an extension of the case can be approve by the supervisor. When a child is abuse or suspected to be, there are four types of professionals involved; CPS case workers, which we talk above, law enforcement officers, physicians and mental health professionals. In our study we are going to focus on the law enforcement professional and how they deal with child abuse cases.
Law enforcement officer view child abuse not as a social problem but in the framework of criminal law. Therefore they focus on the collection and protection of evidence for criminal prosecution. Officers believe that the parents who commit child abuse or neglect renounced to their parental responsibilities and they only deserve incarceration if they are the responsible of the child’s condition. Child abuse cases are different from traditional cases. For example, if a burglary have been reported, the police officer can enter the case with the assumption that an offense has occurred and leave to find the person accountable for. However, if is a child abuse case the police has to determined that a crime has actually occurred. The police cannot assume without any evidence to back up that the sexual assault reported has really happened. Sadly to say but 47 percent of the cases reported to the CPS does not contain sufficient evidence to prove the abuse. Both the police and the CPS caseworker’s job is to determine whether the abuse has occurred, who is accountable for, and then make a decision to protect the child. Once this requirements are meet is only when the police concentrate on collecting the vital evidence for a criminal prosecution.
When it comes to child abuse there are other issues we need to address. It is really difficult for the police to communicate with the victim due to the fact that usually the child is very young and it may not have a well understanding of his/ her cognitive and language development. Also, some forms of abuse seem like non abusive conditions such as the inflicted traumatic injuries which are in most cases described by defense attorneys as the consequence of an accident. Also some medical result may be wrong identify which put the officer in a hard situation, therefore they have to consider all the justification for the child conditions. But, what happen when the child died? Investigation a child death it’s a really sensitive case. The investigation get more complicated because usually occur in private places where is really...