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Child Protective Services - Department of Social Services

Investigation of valid reports of suspected cases of physical abuse, neglect and sexual abuse of children, and coordination of services and resources to prevent recurrence of child abuse and/or neglect.

 

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Investigation of valid reports of suspected cases of physical abuse, neglect and sexual abuse of children, and coordination of services and resources to prevent recurrence of child abuse and/or neglect.

  • Virginia law, Chapter 12.1, Section 63.1-248 requires social services departments to investigate all suspected reports of abuse and neglect. Protective Services is a specialized continuum of casework services to abused, neglected or exploited children and families.
    • The focus of the service is identification, assessment and service provision in an effort to protect children, preserve families and prevent further maltreatment.
  • Child Protective Services is non-punitive in its approach and is directed toward enabling families to provide adequate care and nurturing for their children. If this is not possible, then alternative plans for protection may be necessary.

Certain individuals are mandated reporters if they learn of abuse or neglect in their professional capacity.  

  • Mandated reporters include:
    • Doctors
    • Hospital residents or interns
    • Nurses
    • Social Workers
    • Probation officers 
    • Teachers in public and private schools
    • Child care providers
    • Mental health professionals
    • Law enforcement officers 
    • Institutional staff
    • Any mediator eligible to receive court referrals
    • Any person associated with or employed by any private organization responsible for the care, custody or control of children.

Anyone who suspects that children are being abused or neglected may call anonymously to the local hotline at 926-6600 or the statewide toll-free Hot Line (1-800-552-7096) which are answerable 24 hours a day, seven days a week. After the call is received, a worker will evaluate the information and make a decision whether the complaint is valid. In order for the complaint to be valid, the following criteria must be met:

    • The child/children must be under the age of 18 at the time of the complaint
    • The alleged abuser must be the child's parent or other person responsible for his/her care
    • The local department receiving the report must be an agency of jurisdiction
    • The circumstances described must allege suspected physical abuse or neglect as defined by policy
    • The definitions of abuse and neglect include physical abuse, physical neglect, medical neglect, failure to thrive, mental abuse/neglect, sexual abuse, educational neglect and bizarre discipline.

If accepted for investigation, an investigation of 45 - 60 days will be completed ending with a "finding". A complaint is considered Founded, when the preponderance of evidence establishes that abuse and/or neglect has occurred. If this evidence cannot be established the complaint is classified as Unfounded. An assessment of needs is completed and, if indicated, services are provided to the child and family.  A complaint that is founded may be appealed.  Information regarding this appeal process may be found at the following link on the Virginia Department of Social Services website: 

www.dss.virginia.gov/appeals/cps.html

Additional information regarding Child Protective Services may be found at the following Virginia Department of Social Services website:

www.dss.virginia.gov/family/cps/index.html

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Main Office – Rouse Tower
Rouse Tower

6060 Jefferson Ave
Newport News, VA 23605
Phone: (757) 926-6300
Fax: (757) 926-6118

Denbigh Satellite Office
Denbigh

368 Deshazor Drive
Newport News, VA 23608
Phone: (757) 369-3160
Fax: (757) 369-3186

 

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