Skip to main content

CPS/Impact & Reunification

Photo of a young girl on a swing with her mother behind her.

CPS/Impact & Reunification

Criteria Used for Referral of Recovered Children

Background of the Abduction – was there violence involved in the actual abduction? Was the
child traumatized the this violence?

Age of the child – any pre–verbal child, unless there are allegations or signs of abuse and/or neglect, may not require a referral for therapy.

Length of Abduction – in general, any abduction that is only a few days to a few months in length may not require a referral to specialized therapy, unless there are allegations of abuse and/or neglect. Each case must be considered on its own merits and all cases regardless of the length of the abduction involving allegations of abuse and/or neglect, must be referred for specialized therapy for an assessment and possible therapy.

Allegations of Child Abuse/Neglect – if there any allegations of any type of child abuse or neglect by any parities to any children, even to a child that is in the family unit and has not been abducted, an immediate referral is to be made to the department of Child Protective Services.

Brain–washing – any type of ‘brain washing’ of the left–behind parent by the abductor can be very damaging to the child.

Realization of Abduction – does the child realize he/she has been abducted or does the child think that he/she has been simply on a vacation?

Previous Attempts – has child abduction, child stealing and/or custodial interference occurred frequently with this child?

Alterations to Identity – was the child’s name changed, hair dyed, or any visible changes made to alter gender, thereby altering the child’s identity?

Removed from Identifying Culture – was the child abducted to a different country, culture or did the child not speak the language of the country to which the child was abducted?

Domestic Violence – is there serious domestic violence in the home of the child before and/or during the time of the abduction?

Memory of Parent – does the child remember the ‘left–behind’ parent? Does the child want to be returned to that parent? Is the child fearful, due to brain–washing, of that parent?

Content written by Linda Quintana-Mansouri, CPS Consultant to Los Angeles County.

For Information and Resources:
Please contact Xiomara Flores-Holguin, Children Services Administrator, Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services, email: or call (213) 700-9921.