According to the Office of the Administration for Children & Families, in 2014, there were approximately 3.6 million reports of child abuse or neglect made to Child Protective Services agencies in the United States. Out of the investigations completed by CPS, 75% were due to child neglect and 17% were due to child physical abuse. It is important to note that anyone can report you to CPS, and they are required to investigate all reports. If you have been accused of child abuse or neglect wrongfully, there are some things you need to know.
Contact an Attorney
The first thing you want to do if you are being investigated by CPS is to consult with an attorney. An attorney can help you protect your rights and the rights of your children. You don't want to wait to do this because CPS will start a case against you rather quickly. An attorney can also help guide you as to what to say and not say to CPS when they contact you.
Respond to Phone Calls
When CPS calls you or leaves one of their business cards at your home if you are not there, ignoring them isn't going to make them go away. In fact, ignoring CPS workers will only make you appear like you are hiding something. When you talk to them, be honest and be polite. Getting angry with them will make them view you in a negative light. Simply let them know that you understand they have a job to do but you need to consult with your attorney prior to answering any questions.
Request to See a Warrant
You have the right not to let anyone from a CPS agency into your home if you don't want to. If you invite them in that is one thing but otherwise they will need a search warrant signed by a judge to enter your home. It is not uncommon for CPS workers to threaten to take your children if you don't let them in. However, even if the worker shows up with a police officer, unless they believe that your child is in imminent danger, a search warrant is needed before anything else is done.
No one wants Child Protective Services showing up at their door. However, by having an understanding about what you need to do in the event that you are accused of child abuse or neglect, it can help to ensure you keep your kids where they belong in your home.
For more information, contact local professionals like Law Offices Of Jerald Silvia.