What Parents Should Know About Child Protective Services Investigations
Getting an unexpected visit from Child Protective Services (CPS) can be one of the scariest and most distressing events of a parent’s life. CPS investigates claims of child abuse and neglect, and just about anyone can call and file a report based on things they’ve seen. It doesn’t have to be a friend or family member.
If you suddenly find yourself the subject of an investigation by Child Protective Services, it is always in your best interests to contact a family law attorney as quickly as possible. Additionally, there are several things you should keep in mind as the investigation proceeds:
What You Say Can Be Used Against You
It’s important to be aware that anything you say to a CPS investigator or law enforcement official during the investigation can be used against you. If you’ve been falsely accused of child abuse or neglect, getting angry and losing your temper are common reactions – but they’re very counterproductive.
Any perceived interference with the investigation, or hostile words/actions you direct at the investigators themselves will make your situation worse.
This is where having an attorney can be critical. Not only will they help act as an intermediary between you and the CPS investigators, but they can also provide guidance on what to say and how to say it.
You May Have To Deal With The Court System
If the CPS investigation you’re involved in leads to an intervention or a removal of your children, you’ll need to take your case to court.
Proving that the police and/or social workers were either overzealous in their work, or somehow overlooked pertinent details that may have exonerated you, is not an easy task. To get your children back, you’ll need to work closely with an experienced attorney who knows your local courts inside and out.
Friends And Family May Abandon You
Just being investigated by Child Protective Services – not convicted, just investigated – often puts a stigma on parents that causes friends and family to stop supporting them.
If this happens to you, you’ll have no one in your corner to lean on during the investigation, and you may end up feeling very isolated.
CPS investigations can be grueling, invasive and potentially life-changing. Your lawyer may end up being not only your source of legal information, but a source to get peace of mind during this difficult time. Knowing that your attorney is out fighting for you can bring some sense of relief when all else may seem lost.
Finding The Right Attorney
If you find yourself suddenly dealing with CPS, make sure you find an attorney that you’re comfortable with, rather than just hiring the first one who’s willing to take your case. It’s important to have trust and faith in the person tasked with protecting your family.
At Vonder Haar Law, we know all too well how devastating a Child Protective Services investigation can be for a family. To learn more about how we can help protect your family, please contact our offices today to schedule a free consultation.
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At Vonder Haar Law Offices, we offer every client a free phone consultation to discuss their unique situation and determine how we can help. To arrange a consultation, please fill out the adjacent form or call us at: (707) 529-3200.
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