Many mandated reporters are frustrated with Child Protective Services, and what they believe is a lack of responsiveness on CPS’s part. You may expect CPS to remove a child immediately from a situation you perceive as potentially harmful. Or you may expect CPS to step in before child abuse or neglect has actually taken place.
CPS staff members are equally frustrated when they cannot register and act upon calls from mandated reporters. They can act only when it is likely that abuse or neglect has already happened (harm or imminent harm).
Lack of understanding can make mandated reporters want CPS to take actions that are not authorized by the state law. In other instances, CPS staff want to take action, but can’t because they do not have enough information from the mandated reporter about the child’s case—the report doesn’t meet the five criteria needed to begin an investigation.
Two Common Misperceptions: