Dale Margolin Cecka Addresses When (Not) to Allege Child Neglect

Dale Margolin Cecka (’04), Assistant Professor of Law and Director of the Family Violence Litigation Clinic at Albany Law School, was consulted by Newsweek for an article regarding a Reddit user’s plan to contact CPS over his nephew’s weight (“Reason Why Man Wants to Call CPS on Sister Blasted Online: ‘Please Help,’” Jun. 11). Dale explained, “An overweight child could not be the subject of an open CPS case solely on the basis of a number on the scale. The legal definition of neglect in most states requires a showing that the parent’s actions are directly threatening the child’s health, safety, and well-being. . . . Further, the harm in removing a child from a parent is always of paramount concern to CPS, i.e. it is often more harmful to a child’s psychological well-being to remove them than it is to keep them in the home while working closely with the family to address the underlying concerns.” Dale added, “There is absolutely no reason for this person to call CPS and calling could potentially get in the way of the treatment team.”