Calls to CPS Have Dropped. But is it Under-reporting? Or Fewer Abuse Cases?

The CPS hotline is usually a very busy one. With calls coming in by the hundreds every week from teachers, neighbors, family members, medical professionals and police, CPS workers are constantly being notified about new possible cases of child abuse and neglect. But who do the majority of the calls come in from? This may surprise you, but the answer is teachers. 

A child's hands as they play with large colorful Lego blocks

And as you can imagine, with school closing months ahead of schedule this year due to the COVID pandemic, the number of abuse and neglect reports being called in to CPS has dropped significantly in recent months. But does that mean a reduction in abuse cases? Or is it nothing more than underreporting?

Abuse reports down from a third from last year!

This time last year, calls to the CPS hotline to report suspected abuse were up by 34% from the current numbers. That’s a huge drop! According to JooYeun Chang, the senior deputy director for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Children’s Services Agency, school officials and staff not having contact with kids plays a major role in that drop. But it’s not the only reason.

Because of the pandemic, kids are stuck at home with their families and caregivers. So they’re out and about less, seeing their doctors and dentists less often, and not going to church. That means the remainder of the people who usually call in to make reports – neighbors, extended family members, and medical staff – simply don’t have exposure to kids in the way that they did before quarantine began.

So has child abuse really gone down? Or is it just not being reported?

Officials at CPS are very concerned that there will be a sudden spike in the number of reported abuse cases come September, when kids go back to school. But until then, what are CPS workers doing since there are much fewer new cases to investigate? According to Chang, she has required that agency workers go back and review all of the investigations completed since January of this year.

Families identified as having a low to moderate risk of potential future abuse were earmarked for check ins – a total of 13,000 families in total across the state. CPS workers reached out and offered to connect these families with community resources that could help them manage future concerns, which in turn could help reduce the chance of possible child abuse or neglect.

Being investigated by CPS means you’re on their radar for the future…

As Change points out, about 10% of families with a low to moderate risk of future harm to their children end up involved in another abuse or neglect allegation down the line. Which means that every one of those parents (even if they were identified as being low risk) is automatically suspected of being a possible future child abuser. And that means they’re on the CPS radar, and likely on the child abuse registry as well.

If you have had any past interactions with CPS, or they’ve investigated you for allegations made against you as a parent or caregiver, you are already at risk. Our highly skilled and aggressive CPS defense attorneys have decades of experience fighting for parent’s rights and defending families against the state’s invasive tactics. Call 866 766 5245 today, and keep yourself and your family safe from CPS.