Poverty affects America in its own ways. Due to various factors, such as unemployment or even minimum wage, many parents in Kentucky face pressing circumstances with their children. It is not uncommon for children of low-income, single parents to be left alone while the parent goes to work. Other situations reveal the dark truth behind closed doors: some children are left without proper nutrition, as well. When the other parent of this child discovers their unhealthy living situations, however, they may decide to fight for full custody.
An article in The New Yorker looks at the struggles countless parents in the country face when they discover their own child has been neglected. But where does one draw the line? According to The New Yorker, child-protective services can knock on the door of a reported individual at any time, and have the power to thoroughly search all angles of a home. The article also shares that caseworkers may remove children from a home that they suspect is unsafe, or if it is evident they have been abused by the parent. Caseworkers can interview anyone in contact with a child, including neighbors and teachers.
Unfortunately, child abuse can often prove difficult to determine. The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges provides a guide to child safety in custody cases, acknowledging that, because of the wide range of psychological and physical abuse that can come from a parent, cases must be handled carefully. The NCJFCJ adds that at-risk parents may move a child to another state in the heat of custody battles; in these situations, a judge should contact the parent in concern. It is also important for parents who suspect abuse to frequently review case files to determine whether the case might involve abuse behaviors.