The One Thing We Have Yet To Hear

The politicians are out in numbers, but I have yet to hear anyone address the issues with social services. We have talked about the Green New Deal, Guns, but where are the conversations about revamping social services?

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One of the biggest reasons I fell out of love with being an investigator was because the state turned it into a number count game. They started emphasizing on investigations being wrapped up within 30 days and even in some cases 15. There’s real danger in playing a numbers game when you are dealing with life and death. I had this one case which was a matter of life and death. The case was centered around a mother suffering from Munchausen Syndrome. She had managed to do all sorts of things to her child for years until finally a social worker caught wind of something that seemed a bit off. When I got the case the child was in a protective environment and it was also controlled.

I had the department breathing down my neck because they wanted me to let the child out of the hospital, but at the same time, I felt like something was off. Finally the test came back and I was right. However, I still got my hand spanked when we went to trial and even managed to piss off our lawyer and the judge. Had it not been for the doctor breaking down on the stand I would have balled my eyes out, but I knew what needed to be done, so no yelling or evil eyes could stop me.

Looking back on that case, I learned a lot about people and the whole reporting process. This mother was able to do unthinkable things because she appeared to be the perfect mom on paper. She had all the right answers, and she was semi educated. Not to mention her family knew judges and other people high up in the department. Had she been from another walk of life, she would have been caught a lot sooner.

I learned that people choose and pick who they want to report. If you are poor your chances of being picked goes up a lot more than if you are rich. Keep in mind that 85 percent of the cases are bogus, so that means that only 15 percent are real abuse. If we are really only seeing 15 percent of real abuse cases called in, we have to wonder, where are the rest? People aren’t reporting abuse like they should. People are reporting annoyances at much higher rates. Some schools even give out certificates for their staff members reporting abuse.

I’ve said it before and I will say it again. The entire system needs to be revamped. There needs to be a better way of reporting child abuse and there needs to be a penalty for calling in false accusations. Perhaps child abuse needs to get a hotline similar to 911. The current system lets cases be routed anywhere from 24 to 72 hours. Perhaps, we need a system that lets people go out right away.

In cases where child abuse has occurred and the child was seen by school officials, doctors and other professionals, investigations need to be geared not only towards the parents, but also towards the people who saw these children. We need to figure out how or why things were never called in because if we are just seeing 15 percent of abuse cases, we are missing trauma.

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