Child Abuse in Arizona
Arizona Child Protective Service
The professionals at Hildebrand Law, PC are dedicated to discovering the truth in all child abuse cases related to a family law court matter in which the firm is involved.
What to Do About Child Abuse in Arizona
The Child Protection Service provides services to protect children and young adults from significant harm that is caused by abuse or neglect within the family unit.
It ensures that these minors receive services that will allow them to deal with the impact that these negative factors have on their lives, so they can heal. The agency focuses on the well being and development of those who have been abused or neglected and teaches them to live happy and productive lives.
Professionals who are in authority of children are legally responsible to report abuse and neglect to the Child Protection Service. This includes doctors, nurses, police and school teachers.
Though not legally obligated to do so, any person who suspects a child or young adult is being abused or neglected should submit a report to the Child Protection Service in their area. The Protection worker will then investigate the situation and assess if the child or children are in harm’s way.
Signs of Child Abuse
People who have authority over children and young adults know the indicators of abuse and neglect. When any of these factors are present, the person should take appropriate measures immediately.
Behavioral Signs of Neglect
Behavioral signs of neglect are:
- Showing little or no emotion when hurt
- Fear or wariness of parents
- Inappropriate age-related sexual behaviors
- Alcohol or drug abuse at a very young age
- Trying to be in control of every situation that involves them
Physical Signs of Neglect
- Poor hygiene
- Excessive bruises
- Bleeding from the vagina or anus
- Sexually transmitted disease
- When a child discloses that they have been abused. Young children typically do not lie about being hurt. If a child expresses that they have been hurt in some way, listen carefully and report the incident. The life you save, either physically or emotionally, could be a child’s.
Responding to Disclosure
Every situation of disclosure is different. First, assure the child that you believe them and that the abuse or neglect is not their fault. Then, talk to the child and gather facts and other pertinent information.
- Make note of the disclosure and record your observations. Sign and date the entry.
- Continue to observe the child’s behavior and any physical indicators of abuse or neglect. Sign and date each entry.
- If you are a person of authority over the child, talk to colleagues and your supervisor. Have they noticed the same signs of abuse or neglect? Compare notes and discuss strategies.
- Develop a plan. Brainstorm on what steps you should take to protect the child from harm.
- Talk to child care agencies. Contact Child Protective Services, the regional Department of Human Resources, and any other agency that protects children from abuse and neglect.
- Talk to the child often. Be his confidante and respect the child’s need for confidentiality and privacy. Reassure the child that what’s happening is through no fault of their own. This can’t be said often enough. Children always feel that abuse and neglect are caused by something they’ve done.
Every person has a moral responsibility to report child abuse or neglect. Mandated notifiers such as teachers, principals, doctors, nurses, and police have a legal responsibility to report a child’s need for protection. The responsibilities of mandated notifiers are as follows:
- If you don’t feel comfortable reporting abuse or neglect, it is the responsibility of your boss or supervisor. All cases of suspected abuse and neglect must be reported, by law.
- Mandatory notification always takes precedence over codes of professional ethics. For instance, if your job mandates that client information is confidential, the responsibility to report abuse and neglect takes precedence over confidentiality.
Contact your local Child Protection Service immediately to report the child abuse, if you suspect a child is being abused or neglected. When you phone, ask to speak to someone in Intake. Once the Protection worker is on the phone, provide the following information:
- The child’s name, age, and address.
- Why you suspect abuse or neglect.
- The reason you are calling at this time.
- Your assessment of any immediate danger to the child or young adult.
- Description of behavior, disclosure or injury.
- Your knowledge of important factors about the family.
- Knowledge of cultural information. Is an interpreter needed?
- Disability needs or services.
- Any other information that you think is pertinent to the situation.
Even if you don’t have all of this information, it is imperative you notify the proper authorities. The Intake worker will help you through the process. You should also be aware that some people in a special relationship to the child have a legal obligation to report reasonable suspicions of child abuse.
When Child Protective Service visits the family, it may cause a crisis. Stay involved. Your responsibilities are as follow:
- Being supportive of the victim. Let him know you are there is he wishes to talk.
- Participating in conferences and meetings.
- Continued monitoring of the victim to observe behavior or physical indications of abuse or neglect. (Make notes, date, and sign.)
- Providing written reports and observances to Child Protection workers and the courts.
- Testifying in court, if necessary. Though no one likes to have to testify in court, it is mandatory for those in authority and a moral duty for citizens.
- Helping the family to make the transition from abuse and neglect to a safe environment for the victim. This will take both time and patience.
Parental Support for Abuse Prevention
Child abuse prevention is the combined responsibility of the family, community and the State or Province. A range of services is available to families and children who need the support of agencies. Most governments have a support network in place to help families and children who are coping with child abuse and neglect.
Be sure the victim and their family know what services are available. A child custody attorney may be able to help you or someone else to obtain custody of the child to protect the child from further abuse or neglect.
It is your responsibility, either mandated or moral, to report child abuse or neglect if the victim is a minor. Do your part to stop child abuse and neglect today. If you know a child who is a victim, report the abuse or neglect today.
If you believe your child has been abused or you are defending yourself against a false allegation of child abuse in a family law court matter, you deserve the peace of mind that comes with knowing your most precious assets are being guarded by a committed team who focus only upon Arizona family law cases.
If you are concerned your child has been abused or have been falsely accused of abusing your child, you owe it to yourself and your child to participate in an initial consultation with Hildebrand Law, PC.
If you believe a child has been abused or neglected, you need to know how to report child abuse.
You may report concerns regarding child abuse or neglect to any law enforcement officer or to the child protective services.
Doctors, mental health officials, and school personnel are legally required to report concerns of child abuse or neglect.
They are referred to as “mandatory reports” in the state of Arizona. Child abuse or neglect reports are confidential in Arizona.
The parent may get a copy of the report but the name of the person who made the report is not provided to the parent.
A person who reports child abuse also has qualified immunity for reporting the suspected abuse which provides a shield against liability for reporting abuse.
You should also be aware that you may file an Emergency Petition to Modify Child Custody and Parenting Time to either eliminate or limit the other parent’s access to protect your child.
The court will either grant or deny your emergency petition the same day it is filed.
Arizona Child Abuse – How We Can Help
Child abuse accusations are raised in only a very small percentage of Arizona family law cases.
As a result, many divorces and family law attorneys are unaware of how to properly investigate and litigate allegations of child abuse in Arizona.
Most often, an attorney will blindly leave the investigation of the child abuse allegations to a counselor, Department of Child Safety worker, law enforcement officer, or other mental health professional with little or no involvement or inquiry from the attorney to ensure proper methodologies are being utilized by these people to investigate the child abuse allegations.
There are many occasions when the people in Arizona responsible for investigating reports of child abuse lack sufficient time or training to look into a child abuse allegation properly.
Some governmental investigators, such as police officers and Child Protective Service social workers, do nothing more than schedule a single brief interview of a child in hopes that the child may disclose an act of abuse.
Attorney Chris Hildebrand has represented numerous clients in Arizona child abuse cases in courts throughout Arizona.
In fact, Mr. Hildebrand has been retained by Arizona family law attorneys for the sole purpose of representing their clients regarding child abuse allegations while the other attorney continues to represent that same client for the remaining divorce issues.
Many people have no idea what to do or where to start when a child is alleged to have been abused by a parent.
Those same clients are amazed at the significant number of steps that can and should be taken to properly investigate a child abuse claim and, as importantly, when they realize the dangers inherent in permitting the wrong experts to inquire into these child abuse claims.
Mr. Hildebrand has developed an effective procedure for investigating child abuse allegations. This process has repeatedly proven successful in Arizona child abuse cases.
All clients of the firm, however, are informed that the focus of the process employed by the firm in all child abuse cases is to determine whether the allegations are true or false and, if false if the accusations were asserted to gain an advantage in the child custody litigation.
The process is not employed by the firm to support a false accusation against an innocent parent or to place a child in jeopardy of being mistreated.
The procedures utilized by the firm to investigate child abuse allegations are so effective they have resulted in abusive parents subsequently admitting abuse of their children.
In other cases, are efforts have resulted in other parents losing primary physical custody of their children because they knowingly falsely accused a parent of abusing a child for the purpose of gaining an advantage in a divorce or child custody proceeding.
Although we strive to provide important and relevant information on this website to all of our visitors, we have chosen not to publish any specific information on this website regarding the procedures utilized by the firm to investigate allegations of child abuse to ensure that information cannot be inappropriately used by a parent to conceal his or her abuse of a child or to assist a parent in asserting a false allegation of child abuse against an innocent parent.
If you have questions about child protective services in Arizona, you should seriously consider contacting the attorneys at Hildebrand Law, PC. Our Arizona child abuse and family law attorneys have over 100 years of combined experience successfully representing clients in child abuse and family law cases.
Our family law firm has earned numerous awards such as US News and World Reports Best Arizona Family Law Firm, US News and World Report Best Divorce Attorneys, “Best of the Valley” by Arizona Foothills readers, and “Best Arizona Divorce Law Firms” by North Scottsdale Magazine.
Call us today at (480)305-8300 or reach out to us through our appointment scheduling form to schedule your personalized consultation and turn your child abuse or family law case around today.
More Articles on Child Abuse in Arizona
- Are Child Abuse Reports Confidential in Arizona
- How To Report Child Abuse or Neglect in Arizona
- Liability for Filing a Child Abuse Report in Arizona
- Who is Required to Report Child Abuse or Neglect in Arizona
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Chris Hildebrand wrote the information on this page about child protective services in Arizona to ensure everyone has access to information about protecting children from abuse and neglect in Arizona. Chris is a family law attorney at Hildebrand Law, PC. He has over 24 years of Arizona family law experience and has received multiple awards, including US News and World Report “Top Arizona Divorce Attorneys”, Phoenix Magazine “Top Divorce Law Firms”, and Arizona Foothills Magazine “Best of the Valley” award. He believes the policies and procedures he uses to get his clients through a child custody case should all be guided by the principles of honesty, integrity, and actually caring about what his clients are going through.