Bumps and Bruises: How CPS Identifies Child Abuse

Bumps and Bruises: How CPS Identifies Child AbuseLooking for the Signs

New Jersey’s CPS agency investigates every referral of child abuse using a variety of methods. In cases involving allegations of physical abuse or neglect, CPS caseworkers or representative physicians may examine the child. When looking for signs of abuse, they will note any injuries—including bumps and bruises—on the child. Bumps and bruises are a typical result of childhood play. But they can also indicate abuse, so CPS cannot overlook them. What they will take into consideration, however, is the context of such injuries.

A Look at the Context

A single bruise on a child’s knee is unlikely to confirm allegations of abuse on its own. When CPS representatives examine a child, they will look for any sign of force or violence. Then, they will ask questions to corroborate the results of the examination. It is not uncommon for parents to try to explain how their child got a particular bump or bruise. In reality, parents shouldn’t be held accountable to explain every minor playground injury. It isn’t possible nor should it be necessary.

Connecting the Dots

Investigators may rely on other pieces of evidence to connect the dots between injuries and the parents’ explanation. They may speak with the child’s teacher or review medical records from the child’s healthcare provider. Unfortunately, when caseworkers don’t believe what parents are telling them, they can prolong the investigation while they gather more information. Also, the deeper they probe into the background of the family, the greater chance they have of uncovering other pieces of “evidence” to support the allegations.

Fighting False Allegations

Many caseworkers can tell the difference between normal childhood bumps and bruises and physical abuse. But many aren’t so perceptive. For this reason, you should work closely with a knowledgeable New Jersey child abuse defense attorney whenever facing allegations. Even if you have a reasonable explanation for your child’s injuries, your caseworkers might not agree. In these cases, it’s imperative you have an attorney work with caseworkers to defend your rights, challenge their assumptions, and protect your child’s best interests.

If you need child abuse defense in New Jersey, the Williams Law Group, LLC is here to help. The experienced child welfare attorneys at Williams Law Group, LLC can help you defend your rights and help keep your family whole. Located in Short Hills, New Jersey, Williams Law Group, LLC provides compassionate and dedicated legal services to Union, Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Monmouth, and Middlesex counties, and the surrounding areas. Our knowledgeable attorneys handle divorce and family law, child custody, and child abuse/neglect cases. Call our office at (908) 810-1083, email us at info@awilliamslawgroup.com, or contact us through our confidential online form to schedule a consultation and ultimately get you connected with an experienced New Jersey divorce and child custody attorney.



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