I’ve noticed quite a bit of hits from keywords referring to abuse. This is, unfortunately, a common problem, and people need to find help.
There are also many hits from keywords referring to narcissistic or borderline personality disorders, disorders which often lead to abusive behaviors.
So I will make a series of posts from my webpage on abuse, which gathers together links I have found most helpful. I have them arranged by category.
The first part is on the general topic of abuse. The last section of the webpage, my own personal abuse stories, has already been posted here.
If You’ve Been Reported to CPS
Because there have been so many reported cases involving an abuse of power, the Department of Child and Family Services has done much to ensure that each individual report of alleged abuse is handled consistently within the agency and follows a specific procedure.
While this certainly doesn’t eliminate abusive or unreasonable treatment by some social workers, it does greatly reduce irresponsible behavior and does much to protect law-abiding citizens and innocent children from being subjected to harmful ordeals.
The agency has also developed an informative web site that is available to the general public. Their Department Policy Handbook is included on the site, which gives detailed descriptions of their policies and procedures.
I would highly recommend those who are involved with any kind of counseling within the church body to obtain a copy of this manual and become familiar with it.
…Are Christians obligated to report criminal child abuse? Yes! Are those who fall under the mandatory reporting laws obligated to obey them? Yes!
Should believing offenders be subject to the same judicial consequences for criminal acts as unbelievers and be held accountable in the same way? Yes, yes, yes!
Should we become involved in these cases as a church? By all means, yes!
And should we forgive and work to restore fellowship to repentant offenders and minister to victims as well? Yes, of course!
…It is important for Christians as well as social workers to note that God’s definition of abuse is actually much more demanding than any court’s.
The Scriptures condemn any behavior toward another that is demeaning, unkind, oppressive, hateful, vindictive, or self-serving (to mention just a few).
God vehemently warns against abusing ones authority and power over another, and does not give anyone in any situation the right to impose unlimited authority over others who are subordinate.
The Scriptures clearly forbid any kind of cruelty, sexual exploitation, neglect or failure to provide for ones children. Christians are to regard children as God’s lambs who need protection, loving guidance, and tender care.
Furthermore, God holds parents responsible for the way they deal with their children and the way they protect their children from harm. Those who willfully inflict harm on a child, neglect a child, or in any way oppress a child are harshly spoken of. (Matt. 18:6).
Bringing harm to a child in any form is a serious matter from a Biblical point of view.
…First and foremost, Christians need to conduct themselves in a calm and gentle spirit, remembering that “a soft answer turneth away wrath, but grievous words stir up anger.” (Pro. 15:1)
It is important to cooperate with the social worker to the extent he or she does not violate one’s rights as a parent or one’s child’s right to privacy and protection from harm.
When parents become defensive and refuse to cooperate, it only increases the suspicion of the investigator. The social worker has no doubt learned from experience that people who have something to hide tend to act defensive and uncooperative.
So cooperate and keep a sweet spirit even in the midst of a very frightening and uncomfortable situation. Remember that your child will mimic your attitude and response.
If you are matter of fact and cooperative, your child will accept the investigation much more calmly himself. This is to the child’s benefit as well as yours, and is the best way to defuse suspicion. —Debi Pryde, How to Work with CPS
REPORTING IS NOT “MEDDLING”
Deciding to get involved in a situation of suspected abuse or neglect can be difficult. It is, however, a decision that may be crucial to a child not only today, but also in the future.
Parents who have abused or neglected their children may need services and support to provide safe care for their children. —CPS brochure