Upon review of many of the cases that end up in the hands of Child Protective Services (CPS), substance abuse and domestic violence present as two of the main contributing factors to abuse and neglect. Other contributing factors are poverty and younger aged parents. Young parents often times lack proper experience in the child rearing process, and some of them had a prior history of being in foster care themselves.
The Chatham County Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS) has been involved with the Family Dependency Treatment Court at the Chatham County Juvenile Court on cases where there has been a history of substance abuse involvement. Abuse and neglect cases also tend to increase with a decline in the economy.
As research has proven, abuse and neglect tends to be cyclic and intergenerational. When faced with non-compliant or resistant parent(s) or caregivers (s), court ordered services are mandated. Actions such as guardianships or termination of parental rights may result when the parent(s) or caregiver(s) fail in their responsibilities.
Note: Of the total of 622 actual investigations, 394 became substantiated cases
Diversion is the Georgia term for utilizing a differential response (non-Child Protective Services) in Responding to reports of concern for children and their families. The function of Diversion Services is to help families, through a family assessment, manage the task of daily living and assure child safety, permanency, and well-being. Non-serious situations require a social work response that empowers the family to resolve issues that impact the child and family's well-being and stability.