Noxubee County Child Protection Services

Mississippi Department of Child Protection Services is a public organization that employs people with a social work degree or a related degree in human service. In the office I am working in, there are two caseworkers, who work in the field, and a licensed social worker, who is the supervisor. Child Protection Services works with children and their families. According to the policies on the Mississippi Department of Child Protection Service’s website, the purpose of CPS is to “prevent child maltreatment among families at risk through the provision of supportive family services, to assure children’s safety within the home and preserve intact families in which children have been maltreated, when the family’s problems can be addressed effectively, to address the problems of families whose children have been placed in foster.

Care so that reunification may occur in a safe and stable manner in accordance with the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997, and to support adoptive families by providing support services as necessary so that they can make a lifetime commitment to their children” (2016).

It is a huge goal of CPS to keep the kids with their family when possible. The workers of CPS could do a number of things with the family to help them keep their children. However, sometimes the workers are forced to take the children into state’s custody. In these cases, the children must be taken to foster homes where the social worker still visits them regularly and works to reunite them with their family.

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Before taking the kids out of the households, CPS workers try extensively to keep them in their homes. “After investigating the original report, as long as I see the situation fit for the kid to stay in the household, I will then try to figure out how I can best assist the family. If they are having trouble paying for bills, then we will help them. If the child is having behavior problems, then we can get him set up with community counseling. Our job is to assist these families without breaking them apart”, Brittany Tate, who I have been working with, told me (personal communication, February 7, 2019). During my time at CPS I have seen them help families by offering services such as “in-home visits, parent support groups, and other programs designed to improve parenting skills with respect to matters such as child development, family budgeting, coping with stress, health, and nutrition, respite care of children to provide temporary relief for parents and other caregivers.

Supply structured activities involving parents and children to strengthen the parent-child relationship, information and referral services to afford families access to other community services, including child care, health care, nutrition programs, adult education literacy programs, legal services, and counseling and mentoring services, and early developmental screening of children to assess the needs of such children, and assistance to families in securing specific services to meet these needs.” I have seen first-hand CPS work with organizations such as Community Counseling and Canopy. Most of the kids on their case load have behavior disorders and mental illnesses, so getting them into counseling helps better their home life. Once the social worker feels like the problems reported have been resolved and there is no longer a danger, he/she will close the case.

However, keeping the family united is not always the best solution. In these cases, CPS must be forced to take the kids into state’s custody and put into the foster care system. The website for MDCPS states, “the Federal Foster Care Program provides safe and stable out-of-home care for children until the children are safely returned home, placed permanently with adoptive families or placed in other planned arrangements for permanency” (2016). Brittany Tate explained to me that once the children are in Foster Care the social workers work with the family for approximately six months to return the children back home. The parent(s) have to prove that they are working to change or improve the problems that caused the children’s removal. However, if no progress has been made, the parent’s rights will be terminated and the children will remain in foster care. The social workers work directly with families, however, their main priority are the children. A lot of changes have happened recently with the foster care system because of the lawsuit of Olivia Y.

According to Children’s Rights’ website, Olivia Y. filed a lawsuit against Governor Haley Barbour, the Executive Director of the Mississippi Department of Human Services, and the Director of the Mississippi Division of Family and Children’s Services (DFCS) (n.d.). She felt that the state of Mississippi had not honored the children in state custody’s rights. They were not protecting the neglected and abused children as they should have been. The state settled in 2008 and in 2012 they revamped the entire child welfare system. After 2012, significant changes came into play. According to the MDCPS’s policies, to be hired as a caseworker you must have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in social work or a related field. In order to be promoted to a supervisory position, you have to have either a masters in social work with two years of experience with children and families or a bachelor’s degree and three years of experience. The new policies also stated that the caseworker and supervisor must complete a certain number of training hours every year. The case loads are also limited now to avoid caseworkers overlooking clients (2016). Some of these changes helped CPS change extensively.

However, as of 2014 Child’s Rights’ websites states, “Mississippi still struggled to collect and produce accurate data to document the progress of the state’s child welfare system. There was significant regional variability in terms of performance. While some regions showed improvements, many continued to lag behind with regard to outcomes for children. Also, statewide, only 36 percent of maltreatment investigations were initiated within 24 hours and completed with supervisory approval in 30 days” (n.d.). Mississippi Department of Child Protection Services is a perfect example of a micro, macro, and mezzo social work. They work directly with the children, with the entire family, and also in the community. CPS focuses on bettering childrens’ lives, whether that is helping the family they are in or putting them in a foster home. In the past, they have had some issues. The Olivia Y. v. Barbour case is an example of the problems. However, there are measures being taken to keep improving the system and re-focus it to the children.

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Noxubee County Child Protection Services. (2021, Dec 19). Retrieved from

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