It is everyone's responsibility to report child abuse, but false reporting is against the law. It happens often at CPS, especially with parents in the midst of a separation.
Shari Pulliam, CPS Public Information Officer, said, "During custody battles or divorce cases, sometimes parents do use our agency to call in on each other thinking that we will become involved and remove that child from one home and place them in another. We do not get involved in custody or divorce cases."
Anyone who suspects a stranger or relative or kidnapping, sexual abuse or any other crime, should contact their local law enforcement agency.
"If the police receive a report, they will automatically also give us a call or fax a report into our office, but any report that goes into the abuse hotline is reported by our agency. We do go out on every case that we get a report on."
If you live in the Tyler County area, you may have noticed a flyer accusing a woman and her boyfriend of kidnapping her son after a custody hearing three weeks ago. During the hearing, the four-year-old's father was awarded custody of the boy, but no one filed a missing child report with Tyler County officials.
All legitimate claims of child abuse should be reported to authorities or CPS first. The agency's Child Abuse Hotline is answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week.