One of the challenges that agencies and departments in states around the U.S. face, the issue of double rules. Almost nowhere else in the world are agencies and organizations required to operate by following two completely different (and sometimes conflicting) sets of rules and regulations. In this case, the difficulty lies in being required to follow both state laws and federal laws, which don’t always work well together. And in the case of many agencies (like CPS) they tend to follow one set a lot more closely than the other. For CPS, what often falls by the wayside is federal law. And that affects how certain information is gathered and collated, like child deaths.
Reporting child deaths by abuse has always been a tricky business.
For a long time, child death statistics (from instances of abuse) were only reported voluntarily. States weren’t required to submit those numbers. And many didn’t. But in 2012, Congress made that information more accessible to the public by requiring states to release detailed reports on all child fatalities and near-fatalities. But as it turns out, requiring that a state’s child welfare agency do something, and actually getting them to do it are two different things. In the wake of the changes, ProPublica set out to collect all of this data that was now supposed to be available, and came up against some serious obstacles!
The process took them three years, and they still didn’t get it all!
It took ProPublica three years of reaching out to agencies and wading through red tape to gather all the data they could – and it wasn’t everything! Only 41 out of 50 states complied (which is only slightly more than the number who were doing the voluntary reports before it became legally required). And the numbers they were submitting didn’t come close to the projected number of child deaths experts were claiming should be reported. So what the heck was going on? It was, unfortunately, indicative of how CPS generally operates in many states, including Michigan.
New data was able to be gathered…
Although not all states complied and provided data, there was more accurate and complete information than there had been before. That means ProPublica was able to come up with some new statistics, like the following:
- Boys are more likely to be abused and/or neglected than girls
- Children under the age of three are more likely to be abused
- The most common form of violent child death is blunt force trauma
- The most common form of neglect-related child death was the result of unsafe sleeping practices
Michigan CPS frequently does whatever they want
If we had a dollar for every time we encounter a CPS worker who sidesteps protocol to get the end result they want, or bends the rules in order to achieve the outcome they believe is the right one, we’d be millionaires. CPS is notorious for workers who “cowboy” the system, and the people who pay for it when they do are the families they interact with. Parents who lose their children to the courts for invented reasons, and children who are torn from their families through no fault of their own.
Don’t let CPS wreck your family or take your children away!
If you’ve been contacted by CPS in any way, you need to meet with an experienced CPS defense attorney as soon as possible! Someone who can explain the process, and break down all of your options for you. Call 866 766 5245 as soon as you’re ready to hire a highly respected CPS defense lawyer, and discuss the allegations against you with an attorney who can help! We are available for crisis intervention immediately. And don’t forget to join us next time for more info on this interesting ProPublica dilemma.