Although intervention by a child welfare agency is sometimes required for the protection of a child, sometimes the investigation may become over zealous or slanderous in nature. Investigating claims that a child is the subject of mistreatment is difficult. The agency should attempt to investigate all claims made with a balanced outlook. However, in some instances, the agency does not fairly investigate the parents and improperly places the child into protective custody.
If the caseworker determines that the child is in need of protective services and the parents are unwilling to cooperate, the caseworker must determine whether the danger to the child is so great that treatment is warranted. Parental treatment may include:
The need to protect the child from neglect or abuse does not in anyway justify violating parental rights. Either the agency itself or the caseworker may be found liable for malpractice for violating parental rights. There are basically four categories in which violations occur. These categories are:
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