MIDLAND, Texas–Being surrounded by loved ones during the holidays is something that most look forward to, but for some, that is not always an option. The children in the care of Child Protective services are just looking to be home for the holidays.

Child Protective Services may have one of the most emotionally challenging jobs, especially during the holiday season. Separating families can never be an easy task, but with the introduction of virtual aspects, reuniting children with their families is possible now, more than ever.

While CPS is constantly dealing with new cases on a daily basis, the holidays tend to see a spike.

According to Child Protection Court Associate Judge, Tracey Scown affirms, “Normally during the holidays, and also the first of the summer, we will see an increase in removals of children from homes.”

Now, since the breakout of the pandemic, virtual meetings and classes have become very prevalent in our society, especially in the daily life of Child Protective Services.

“So people that formerly might not have the ability to travel to get their classes and services done, are able by virtue of the computer or a phone, can access that information,” says Scown.

With the introduction of the virtual classes, meetings and even hearings, the entire process of reuniting children with their families has become a more likely idea.

Scown says, “We ask a lot of parents, when they get involved in the system, and it has been difficult at times for the parents to be able to do everything that’s asked of them. They have to keep a job, they have to keep a house, they have to do these classes, and they have to come to court. With the virtual ability they can come to court, especially if they live in Monahans or Kermit, they can attend their court hearing and not have to take a whole day off of work.”

And though it may seem as if CPS is tearing families apart, in the end, reuniting families is the main goal for the organization.

“Well that is the most rewarding part of my job is to see a family that is successfully reunited. And all children love their parents, and it doesn’t matter what type of abuse home that a child comes from, they love those parents. Many of the children want to take responsibility for what’s happened in their home and almost all of the children want to go home regardless of what the abuse was,” says Scown.

Child Protective Services is hoping to see the rise in reunite families continue as long as possible.