Articles Posted in Child Abuse & Neglect

Youth Court is a specialized court system in Mississippi that deals with cases involving children and teenagers. The Youth Court system is made up of judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, probation officers, and social workers who all work together to provide services to juveniles who have been referred to the court. In Mississippi, there are two types of Youth Court cases: delinquency cases and child protection cases.


Delinquency cases involve juveniles who have committed a delinquent act or a status offense. Delinquent acts are activities that would be considered a crime if they were committed by an adult. This could include things like theft, burglary, drug offenses, assault, and vandalism. In these cases, the juvenile is accused of breaking the law and is charged with a delinquent act. Status offenses are things that would not be considered a crime if committed by an adult. The most common status offenses are truancy (skipping school), underage drinking, and running away from home, but this also includes things like “disturbing the family peace” and breaking curfew.

Every state has a social services department that is responsible for investigating child abuse and neglect. In Mississippi and many other states, this agency is called Child Protection Services or Child Protective Services (CPS), but other states might call it the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) or something similar. Some groups of people, like teachers and nurses, are mandatory reporters of child abuse and neglect. But anyone can report child abuse and neglect by calling CPS.

It can be hard to know when you should call CPS. Fear of interfering in someone else’s life or making a false accusation makes some people hesitant to call CPS. But think about what is at stake: a child’s physical safety, and maybe even their life. The most important advice is to follow your gut instinct. If you think something should be reported to CPS, it probably should be.

What Types of Things Should Be Reported to CPS?

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