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Dear Abby Supports CPS

March 27, 2005 permalink

Today's Dear Abby column is supportive of child protective services. While Abby sends her message to millions, victims of child protectors cannot tell their stories in the media. No one who has seen the result of a complaint could in good conscience follow Abby's advice.



Suspicion of abuse shouldn't go unreported

Mar. 27, 2005 12:00 AM

DEAR ABBY: I'm not a licensed caregiver, but I baby-sit for a neighbor child, "Caleb." The boy is too young to tell me if he's being abused, but I'm concerned about his home environment. Caleb spends eight to 10 hours a day with me, and I have noticed that he's afraid of men and easily frightened.

Caleb's uncle, who lives with him, is a violent drug user. His mother breaks probation a lot, goes out after curfew and drinks.

Caleb often comes to my home unfed, even though the original agreement was that I would prepare lunch and snacks only. Now I'm doing much more than that.

Am I legally responsible to report my suspicions of abuse and/or neglect as a day-care would? And who exactly do I call? Please advise. - Caleb's Caregiver

DEAR CAREGIVER: You aren't legally required to report your suspicions of abuse and neglect of the child; however, you are morally required to do so. Child-protective services should be notified about what you've told me. They're listed in your phone directory.