BuzzFeed has an interesting article on their site today. It's takes a look into what it's like to be a Child Protective Services Investigator in Florida.
This person is tasked with investigating calls to Child Protective Services suggesting a child might be in danger within their living situation.
As you might guess, this job gives one a lot of exposure to drugs, drug-using parents, abuse, etc.
Here are some of the highlights from BuzzFeed's interview with one such investigator:
- "Florida is, as they say, the trashcan of the South, so we see some pretty disturbing cases. I saw a meth lab right next to a kid's bedroom. He left his bike in the lab. This little kid was constantly going in and out of a meth lab."
- "One of my favorites was a father in his 30s, who had a teenage son. The father went on Spring Break to Daytona Beach, and came back with a 20-year-old girlfriend. Turned out the girlfriend was also hooking up with the teenage son. Some people are absurd."
- "I'll often see cases where parents are using drugs, for example, on the weekend while their kids are staying with a grandparent. During the week, they'll be mostly responsible. That's an awful situation, but it's not an extreme risk to the child. We'll offer counseling, but we don't remove. And I'll tell the grandparents they have to stop being enablers."
The individual who shared their story with BuzzFeed also pointed out that there are some pretty astounding things that you can't prosecute someone for in Florida.
For example, you can spank your children here in Florida because physical discipline is legal. A mother also cannot be prosecuted for drinking, smoking and taking drugs throughout her whole pregnancy, if she tests negative at birth. An investigator can even witness this and he or she cannot do a thing.