There’s a new addition at some upstate New York schools that may make many parents uneasy. Workers from Erie County Child Protective Services (CPS) will have a physical presence in each school, monitoring children every week.
“So, instead of having their office down in 478 Main St., they will work out of that school,” Erie County Social Services Commissioner Al Dirschberger told The Buffalo News. He said that among other duties, the CPS employees will be able to quickly investigate children and their families.
“If we collaborate better, we can provide better investigations and better services to the community, but also we can identify families that have needs and we can prevent CPS calls,” Dirschberger said. He also said teachers and administrators will be monitoring students and reporting to CPS.
“If a school identifies a family that needs help, whether it be a mental health issue, struggling with a drug or alcohol issue, they can talk to the CPS worker and make connections back to our department,” Dirschberger added. “And we can refer that family for services so we can prevent a CPS call.”
Not surprisingly, some parents and others are not very happy with the presence of CPS in schools. A number of negative reactions were recorded at the ParentalRights.org Facebook page. That group is pushing for a Parental Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. ParentalRights.org is headed by Michael P. Farris, president of the Homeschool Legal Defense Association.
- “My child would be pulled from this school system,” Teresa Swango wrote. “Under NO circumstances should DCF (Department of Children and Families) be given an office or be involved this closely with the school.”
- “I love how these freedoms are being taken away so silently, so in the backdoor so that so many unsuspecting folks are thinking this is a good thing …,” Teresa Firek wrote.
- “You know … in Scotland, they just passed a law that designates a social worker to every single child, even in utero,” Diedre Caldwell Johnson wrote. “These social workers rights over the child trump parents. Watch out … it will be coming this way someday soon. Seems like it’s already here.”
- “More reason to homeschool,” Janee Campbell wrote. “Almost weekly I hear things that make me glad I don’t have to send my kids to public school. I know many don’t have a choice but more and more public school is becoming an unsafe place as far as family is concerned.”
- “Don’t get me wrong. There’s a place for CPS,” Kirra Armour wrote. “… But placing CPS workers in the school will put them in a position of needing to find children to remove from their homes to justify their existence. As another poster put it, this is a ‘make-work’ program; but the only work they can make up is to take children when they would be far better off at home.”
As Off The Grid News reported, in 2014 the Scottish Parliament passed a law called the Children and Young People Bill that mandates a government-approved guardian for every child in the country.
Three children in recent years under Erie County CPS supervision died, The Buffalo News reported. The county responded by hiring 37 additional workers and 12 more part-time investigators.
CPS workers will be at the schools once or twice each week.
There are a growing number of organizations that provide legal services to parents entangled with entities such as CPS. Two such organizations are The Family Defense Center and the Home School Legal Defense Association.
What are your thoughts on CPS workers being in schools? Is it a good idea or bad idea? Share your thoughts in the section below: