Are there benefits between police and social services to keeping the two investigations separate when investigating child sexual abuse?
The social worker has the child or family members best interest in mind when investigating a suspected incident or complaint. [ Many times it is imperative that agencies work together to ensure safety for the social worker or if a need arises to remove a child from a home. Often times a criminal investigation will arise from a complaint or statement made to the social worker. The social
worker cannot undertake a criminal investigation as to rape or physical assault. However, often times these investigations are pursuant to a social worker's report on an incident.
A social worker has authority to "protect" a child if they believe that harm has or will come to that child even though they may not have enough evidence that would elicit a full criminal investigation. Often neglect cases are not criminal in nature but would be essentially labeled "bad parenting". These cases would be malnutrition, failure to monitor, and possibly endangerment in some states.
There are no new answers.