Georgia adopting more rigorous standards for child abuse investigations

Submitted by Ingrid on Sat, 07/23/2016 - 11:24

The Weinstein attorneys have handled child abuse claims for years, and have witnessed heart-breaking cases that were made worse by a lack of oversight and action from the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services. So we are very pleased to hear that new standards are being adopted by DFCS in the way the agency assesses maltreatment reports of potential child abuse cases.

The old standards allowed agency workers to relegate cases to “family support” or “diversion” status after merely reviewing information phoned in by people who suspected a child had been abused or neglected. Now, agency workers will no longer decide whether such reports warrant investigations based solely on information gathered over the telephone. No case will be assigned a lower-priority status until a caseworker meets directly with a child who allegedly has been the victim of abuse.

While this new protocol will cause a further financial stress on an agency already under deep budget constraints, it is clear that these steps are necessary to increase the oversight of potential child abuse and neglect cases. Our firm applauds this change.