Dealing with Child Protective Services – Part I

Most parents spend their lifetime supporting their children, protecting their children from harm and helping their children become successful, productive human beings. When a parent is accused by Child Protective Services (hereinafter referred to as “CPS”) of abuse or neglect it could create a conundrum for the parents. CPS’ job is to investigate allegations made anonymously concerning issues involving child neglect and child abuse. When a parent hears from CPS, the normal reaction for the parent being investigated is to be upset, angry and scared.

Child Protective Services’ Investigations

When a Child Protective Services worker comes to your home, he or she is looking for signs of child abuse or child neglect. They are interested in finding out whether a child or children have been either physically or emotionally abused. Their job is to find evidence of abuse or neglect. Their job is not to seek out information to clear you with regard to the allegations that have been made against you. When a Child Protective Services worker comes to your home, if he or she finds that your home is unsafe or inappropriate for raising children, the worker can go to court and obtain a court order to remove your children to a safe foster care family. The worker may also make recommendations to you with regard to steps to be taken to make your home safer and more appropriate for raising children.

Should You Cooperate With Child Protective Services’ Investigators?

When the CPS investigator comes to your house, the first thing you should do is get his or her name, their phone number, email address, and the name and address of the agency they are working from. The question then becomes should you allow them into your home? Should you allow them to speak to your children privately? The answer to these questions depends on the circumstances and allegations made against you. In addition, it depends on what the Child Protective Services worker will find in your home. It is strongly suggested, when allegations of child abuse or neglect are made against you, that you consult with an attorney and discuss whether you should give admittance to your home to the Child Protective Services worker and/or allow them to talk to your children.

Be Polite

Under all circumstances, it is important that you act polite and appropriate and not hostile when dealing with the Child Protective Services worker. Should you decide not to let them meet with your children or speak with them, politely tell them that you will be happy to talk with them in the future after you have consulted with an attorney.father's rights advocate on long island

About Elliot S. Schlissel

Elliot S. Schlissel, Esq. has spent more that 45 years representing individuals in matrimonial and family law cases.