NewsChannel 11 Investigates the Other Face of Children's Protective Services - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

5/10/07

NewsChannel 11 Investigates the Other Face of Children's Protective Services

Caseworkers for Children's Protective Services are faced with the tough decision of taking a child out of a potentially dangerous home. 

CPS says their goal is to do everything they can to keep children safe and with their families if they can. NewsChannel 11 gives you an inside look into CPS investigations at Lubbock homes.

Craig Campbell says his job as a CPS investigator can be tough. 

"I was wondering if you could send an officer to assist," said Craig during an investigation into an alleged neglect case.

So tough, Lubbock police must get involved. 

"She does not believe I'm with CPS. She says if you can get an officer here to verify that I'm with CPS then I've tried everything. I even showed her my driver license," Campbell explained to a police officer.  

Campbell is working a case where a woman may be abusing and neglecting her children. 

"Are there drugs involved?," asked NewsChannel 11's Cecelia Jones. 

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

Campbell is trying to get this woman to take a drug test. It is the first step into his investigation. So far, she's not budging.  

Campbell says he never sees a dull moment doing what he does every day. "There are stressful periods as well as periods that make you feel good about what you do," he said.  

He says through the stress, opportunities also happen to help families in need, like this one. "She was released from the hospital two days ago," Campbell said about a newborn baby.  

We will call her "Baby Jane," by now she is about two weeks old. Her mother tested positive for drugs when she gave birth to her. A cousin is now taking care of "Baby Jane" while CPS gets the mother help.  

 "In this case, mother was very open to assistance. The family unit was extremely strong and in this case we are going to try to get mother into some type of rehab with baby so she can work on parenting issues substance abuse issues," Campbell said.

Meanwhile, Campbell visits "Baby Jane" at her cousin's house. He comes to check on her and the woman. This day we visited, Campbell is prepared to take this woman to WIC, which stands for Women, Infants and Children. He is helping her get more formula for the baby.     

Campbell also brought over a portable crib for the baby to sleep. It was given to them by Children's Advocacy Center of Lubbock from their Rainbow Room.  

"When a child is placed with a relative or placed in foster care, a lot of times they come without the basic necessities whether it be diapers, clothing, shoes, school supplies, all of those things. This is a resource for our kids so we can come get them the basics of what they need," said Campbell.   

Sometimes resources may provide more than just tangible items. "You're in an investigation stage," explained Campbell to another family we visited. In this case, the family is in desperate need of family counseling. 

"We think with the concerns we've had, that keeping ya'll in therapeutic setting until things got stable would be beneficial to everyone," said Campbell to the family.   

Campbell is trying to help a single mother who takes care of her four children. She is having trouble getting ends to meet financially. On top of that, she has a chronic illness that does not allow her to work. Campbell is trying to help lift some of the daily stress and reduce depression tenancies, which often results in a neglected child.

"The whole goal here is to help people. I think that's why we're all in it. You have a lot of cases where you come at the end of the day feeling you did some good for people out there," said Campbell.

For years, Lubbock CPS had 12 caseworkers who each had to juggle approximately 50 cases at a time. They say that was making it hard for them to do their jobs.   

Some may argue the system is not flawless, however, two years ago, lawmakers provided the agency with more money to hire more caseworkers. They are working to improve the system right now.    

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