When I was a young man, I worked two years for Child Protective Services (CPS). It’s a strange job, going to people’s homes to talk to them about complaints that other people have made about how they treat their children.
Investigating reports of child abuse is just the beginning of the job in CPS and the simplest part. For those cases where abuse and/or neglect are serious, social workers develop plans that the families must follow, often including counseling and drug treatment. Then there are court hearings, where the CPS worker is represented by a state Attorney General, and the parents are represented by a private attorney or by a state-appointed attorney. Usually the two attorneys work out an agreement and sell it to the CPS worker and the family.