COUNTY—In light of reported Children and Youth Services (CYS) impersonators attempting to remove children from their homes in other parts of the state, Wayne County CYS has released a notice alerting residents how to spot an impostor.
Though there have not been reports of such impersonators in Wayne County, it is better to err on the side of caution and let residents know what they can do to protect their families, explained county Human Services Director Andrea Whyte.
First and foremost, the mission of CYS is to protect children and keep families together, said Whyte.
Should the need arise for home visitation, official CYS workers will all have identification cards on their person, generally displayed around their neck.
Residents in doubt are advised to always ask to see said identification.
Whyte added that the county recently overhauled their identification card requirements to ward against potential forgeries.
Should the residents still harbor doubts as to the worker's identity, Whyte advised they call CYS at 570-253-5102 to verify who the worker is and why they need to appear at the home.
Additionally, by law CYS workers are not permitted to remove a child without a judicial court order or the presence of a police officer, states a CYS release.
“There is a due process in place to protect both us and the community residents,” said Whyte, reaffirming that there is no way for county workers to suddenly remove children from their homes.
The process to do so is achieved through extensive evidence collection and only as an absolute last resort to protect the child, said Whyte.
Even when called to a home to investigate an alleged case of abuse Whyte stated, “Our first response is to see how to protect the children and keep families intact.”