How CPS investigators continue to reduce risks of child abuse and neglect in households

Local News

WICHITA COUNTY (KFDX/KJTL) — As Child Abuse Prevention Month comes to an end, folks with Child Protective Services want everyone to know they are doing everything they can for the children in our community.

One CPS investigator said they are always finding resources for parents that in turn reduces the risks to children in the households.

Stephanie Lyde is a mother of two who said she has had more than one run in with CPS.

“My experiences aren’t very good ones with them but they have helped me a lot to keep my children,” Lyde said. “They have provided parenting classes [and] NA.”

Lyde said she believes there are instances where CPS intervention is absolutely necessary for homes and said she has benefited from having them around.

“I know what to do and what not to do,” Lyde said. “I’ve gotten a lot more patient with people with this whole experience because it takes a lot of patience not to just come unglued when somebody is coming at you about your kid.”

CPS investigator Katy McCarthy said while reports of abuse and neglect decreased over the course of the pandemic that does not mean it was not happening.

“There is just a huge need for assessing risk and safety and to adjust how we do things and making visits but abuse and neglect don’t stop just because there is a pandemic, we just have to be more creative on how we assess it,” McCarthy said.

Mccarthy said their main goal is keeping families, like Lyde’s, together and providing resources for them so they are able to properly care for and protect their children.

“I know we get a lot of negative but we literally get the opportunity every day to drastically change people’s lives,” McCarthy said. “Whether that’s providing a resource for them, knowing that there is outreach, that there are different programs that they might not be aware of, that can help reduce the stress in the home and get them what they need to be a successful family.”

McCarthy said their first instinct is always to find ways to support the household before removing a child.

“We always look for resources, we look for family members, maybe if we can put a safety measure in place to mitigate that risk we absolutely will,” McCarthy said.

“They are not bad people, they are not here to mess up your life, that’s not what they are there for they’re here to help you,” Lyde said.

McCarthy said it is a tough job and it takes the community to come together as they continue to work their hardest to protect children in the community.

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