The Child Protective Services Unit is required to recognize that children have certain basic needs, which must be provided for, including the need for adequate food, clothing, and shelter; the need to be free from physical, sexual, or emotional injury or exploitation; the need to develop physically, mentally and emotionally to their potential; and the need for a safe and permanent family. It is also a paramount goal of this unit to protect children and unborn children and when appropriate strengthen family life through assisting parents in fulfilling their responsibilities.
WHAT IS CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT?
Child abuse is the physical, sexual, or emotional maltreatment of a child by a caretaker or non-caretaker. Physical abuse involves cuts, broken or fractured bones, burns, internal injuries, or "severe and frequent bruising" inflicted on a child by other than accidental means. Sexual abuse will involve sexual intercourse, other sexual contact, or exploitation. Emotional abuse will involve the verbal mistreatment of a child, withholding of love or companionship, and the like. Child neglect is the failure of a parent or other caregiver to provide necessary care, food, clothing, shelter and medical care for reasons other than poverty so as to seriously endanger the physical health of a child.
HOW TO REPORT CHILD PROTECTION CONCERNS?
If you believe that a child has been abused or neglected, you should report your concerns to the Dodge County Human Services and Health Department. You can contact the Department at (920) 386-3750 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. The names and identifying information of reporters is kept confidential by this agency, however, a person may report child protection concerns anonymously.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN WHEN CONCERNS ARE REPORTED?
Upon contacting this agency, a social worker will write up your report. It is very important to have at least basic information such as names, ages, and addresses of family members. It is also very helpful to give information about the suspected abuse or neglect. The more information a reporter is able or willing to provide to the intake worker, the better subsequent agency decision making will be. A supervisor will review the report and decide if a situation warrants action on the part of the child protective services unit. Should the case be screened in and assigned to a social worker for follow up, the social worker will interview children and family members regarding the maltreatment concerns. We will do this in an attempt to assess child safety as well as maltreatment risks and other family strengths and needs. Upon completion of the investigation, the assigned worker will then make a decision as to whether the maltreatment is substantiated or not as defined in state Statutes. The assigned worker will also then make decisions as to what sort of action might need to be taken and what sort of services might benefit the children and family.