Navigating Arkansas Child Welfare Services: How CPS and DHS Do (& Don’t) Work Together
If you or someone you know is facing a child welfare issue in Arkansas, it's crucial to understand the roles and differences between Child Protective Services (CPS) and the Department of Human Services (DHS).
These two government agencies work together to protect children from abuse and neglect — but navigating the legal system can be complicated and overwhelming.
That's why it's essential to understand the difference between the two, so be sure to take some time to explore the similarities and differences between CPS and DHS in Arkansas and why contacting a family law lawyer is almost always critically necessary.
What is CPS in Arkansas?
CPS is a division of DHS that is responsible for investigating allegations of child abuse and neglect. CPS is tasked with ensuring that children are safe in their homes and that their basic needs are being met. When someone reports suspected abuse or neglect, CPS will investigate the claim to determine if there is any validity to it.
What is DHS in Arkansas?
DHS is a larger agency that is responsible for a range of social services, including providing assistance to families in need, providing healthcare services, and overseeing child welfare services. DHS is made up of several different divisions, including CPS.
The Differences Between CPS and DHS in Arkansas
- Investigative powers: CPS is responsible for investigating allegations of child abuse and neglect, while DHS is responsible for providing services to families in need. While both agencies have the power to investigate cases involving children, CPS is the agency that has the authority to remove a child from their home if they believe that the child is in danger.
- Focus: CPS is primarily focused on investigating cases of abuse and neglect, while DHS is responsible for a wider range of services, including healthcare, financial assistance, and disability services. CPS is more specialized in dealing with child welfare issues, while DHS provides a broader range of social services.
- Reporting structure: CPS is a division of DHS, which means that it is structured differently from DHS. CPS is a smaller division that focuses specifically on child welfare services, while DHS is a larger agency that provides a wider range of social services.
Similarities Between CPS and DHS in Arkansas
- Shared goals: Despite their differences, both CPS and DHS in Arkansas share the same goal of protecting children from abuse and neglect. Both agencies work towards ensuring that children are safe and that their basic needs are being met.
- Collaboration: While CPS is a division of DHS, the two agencies work closely together to ensure that children are being protected. CPS investigators may work with other divisions of DHS, such as healthcare providers or financial assistance programs, to ensure that families are receiving the support they need.
- Legal authority: As mandated reporters, both CPS and DHS have the legal authority to investigate cases involving children and to take action if they believe that a child is in danger. This means that both agencies have the power to remove a child from their home if they believe that the child is at risk.
Unsure Where Your Child’s Safety Stands? Contact Hickey & Hull Law Firm
In Arkansas, protecting children from abuse and neglect is of utmost importance, and CPS and DHS play a critical role in ensuring that children are safe in their homes.
If you or someone you know is facing a child welfare issue, it's essential to take action immediately. Contacting a family law lawyer can provide you with the guidance and support you need to navigate the complex legal system.
Even if you just have a question and aren’t sure if you need a lawyer, the compassionate team at Hickey & Hull can help you get started on the right path with a 100% free consultation. Fill out our online form or contact us today to learn more about how we can help you. Our River Valley office number is 479.434.2414, and our Northwest Arkansas number is 479.802.6560.