DEMYSTIFYING DEPENDENCY COURT – PRESENT DANGER DEFINED
The Safety Intervention Permanency System (SIPS) has been adopted by CPS courts across the country and is now accepted as the standard by which CPS/DFS must operate. This article is part of a series explaining this SIPS model. Here we focus on the first step in a CPS case - present danger.
Present Danger DefinedWhen CPS is called to a home for an allegation of abuse or neglect, CPS is taught to look for present danger. Present Danger is defined by the SIPS model as an immediate, significant and clearly observable family condition that is actively occurring or in the process of occurring and will likely result in serious harm to a child. This definition needs to be further explained.
Examples of "Significant" and "Clearly Observable" Present Danger SituationsIt is important to remember that the event must be significant and clearly observable. Events that are obvious, like a child being beaten is obvious and observable. Another example would be a child being locked in a room or being unsupervised in a dangerous home setting. Again, it is important to remember that for there to be a present danger the incident must be significant and clearly observable.
Explaining what SIPS means by "In the Process of Occurring""In the process of occurring" can mean a number of things. For example, it might mean that an event has just occurred like a child being taken to the emergency room with an unexplained injury. It might also mean that the event is currently happening like a child being left alone, unattended in a parking lot. It might also mean that it is a situation that happens frequently. For example, that young children are left alone for hours at a time at night.