We are all likely aware of Child Protective Services, a state government agency which acts as a means of enforcing laws for those children who are at risk of abuse in the home. Obviously, state laws prohibit the abuse of a child, which has criminalizing consequences, however these agencies are used as a means of specifically helping the children. Generally these types of cases are involving the parents of the child or some other guardian who is taking care of them.
The first step of determining child abuse is agency investigations. In most cases these investigations will be done by designated law enforcement agencies with the help of a child protective services member to meet with the child specifically. Not only guardians and parents are investigated during this process though, it will also include teachers, coaches, doctors, etc.
After the investigation process, if the agencies are certain of the abuse, they will then intervene in order to protect the children. However, because this is a matter of the family, they are required to have sufficient evidence demonstrating the abuse before they can take action. Obviously, the types of intervention done by the agencies will depend on the situation of abuse. For example, if a parent forgets their parent in a car while they go into a store, the child protective services is required to meet with this parent, though an officer may or may not be involved. However, if the child is in serious danger, then the police may have to move in.