How to Deal With Child Protective Services

Child Protective Services must respond to accusations of child abuse and neglect. Even if the reports are unfounded, Child Protective Services must investigate and make sure that all children are safe. If someone files a Child Protective Service report against you, it is important to cooperate with investigators and caseworkers, even if the allegations against you are not true.

Work with Child Protective Services, not against it. Most parents who have a Child Protective Service report filed against them will feel angry, frightened, and frustrated. Child Protective Services investigators and case workers realize this, but still must do their jobs. The best way to resolve the situation quickly is to cooperate with CChild Protective Service's investigation. If the allegations are unfounded, your case will be closed quickly.

Hire an attorney. Since Child Protective Service investigations may end in your child being removed from your home or even having your parental rights terminated, it is important to retain an attorney as soon as possible. If you cannot afford a lawyer, your local public defender's office can provide you with counsel at no charge.

Do not leave the state without permission. Most Child Protective Service cases require parents and their children to stay within the state until the case is dismissed by the court. If you must take your child out the state, talk to your attorney and case worker first. If you fail to do so and breach a court order, you may be jailed.

Gently explain what is happening to your child. It is important that you child understand what is happening. Explain Child Protective Service's role in age-appropriate terms. Let him or her know that the Child Protective Services wants to make sure that he or she is safe. It is important that you do not coach your child on what to say to Child Protective Service workers or urge him or her not to cooperate. Doing so will reflect negatively upon you in court.

Get everything in writing. Ask Child Protective Services workers to give you written documentation of the allegations against you and give copies to your attorney. Also make sure to retain copies of any documents you sign at Child Protective Services regarding your case and keep them together.

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