An Inside Look into a Children's Protective Services Investigation - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

4/30/07

An Inside Look into a Children's Protective Services Investigation

NewsChannel 11 takes a ride with Children's Protective Services. We're watching them investigate only a handful of cases they see on a day-to-day basis, compared to the thousands they see in one year.

Like newborns who can't be with their mother because of drug related issues.  "We're working with mom to correct the issue," said Craig Campbell, CPS investigator.

On another visit, we never even made it past the front door, Lubbock police got involved because the accused doesn't want to cooperate. "The allegations involves physical abuse and neglect," said Campbell.

Greg Cunningham was along for the ride with us. He is the spokesman for CPS. He says caseworkers handle 20 to 30 cases at one time now. Before, it was a whole lot more than that. Lubbock has gone from 12 case workers to 30 in just a matter of years.

"What happened was the legislature came through with a lot of new money for us. They made the determination that we just didn't have enough employees in the department of Family and Protective Services," said Cunningham.

According to their 2006 Data Book available online, more than 10,000 cases of child abuse and neglect were reported in Lubbock last year.  

Campbell has tried numerous times to get one woman to cooperate. There are allegations of abuse and neglect inside her home and possible drug abuse.

"Any drug abuse at all?," asked NewsChannel 11 Investigator Cecelia Jones. 

"Possibly. We're not 100% sure," said Campbell. 

Craig has tried all he can to get her to agree to taking a drug test but she's not talking.

"I was wondering if you could send an officer to assist," said Campbell while on the phone. 

A police officer came to help out. 

"She does not believe I'm with CPS," explained Campbell to the officer. 

"Ma'am, we said if we got the police department to verify who I was you would cooperate," said Campbell to the woman's front door.  

"No I did not," she answered. 

"Is there any kids in there?" asked the officer. 

"Not that I can think of. They're school aged so they are in school," said Campbell. 

Craig had to walk away from this one for now, "There's not enough legal ground to take any action at this point.  What we're going to do is on Monday, go to court and try to get an order to allow us to investigate this issue," said Campbell.

Our story will continue with two more families. We'll show you what happens when these CPS caseworkers are faced with the tough decision of leaving children in a home that may be dangerous. It's the reality of what they deal with every day.

In the meantime, you can report child abuse two ways:

Call 1-800-252-5400 or report abuse by (clicking here).

NewsChannel 11 Investigates
NewsChannel 11 is digging deeper than just the news of the day, bringing you stories that no one else will do.  We have discovered some things in Lubbock you should know about.  See what Cecelia Jones has uncovered.

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