The job of parents or caregivers is to look after their children and protect them from potential threats. But sometimes, things do not turn out so perfect. Due to personal problems, the children often get into abuse, including both physical and sexual. They also become a victim of neglect.
To protect the children out there from such problems, one may report to Child Protective Services (CPS). They will take care of the matter and will make sure that they are safe.
What is Child Protective Services (CPS)?
Child Protective Services (CPS) is a department that is responsible for the investigation, intervention, and assessment of cases regarding child abuse and neglect, including sexual abuse. CPS takes cases typically where a child is suffering abuse or is at the risk of getting abused by a person who has care-giving responsibilities for that child.
The truth is that CPS legally obligates to investigate each of the reports it receives. Although, there exist certain instances where the investigation is not done, or the case is closed without undergoing the procedures of investigation. It typically takes place when there is no abuse or neglect found.
CPS can see your child without your permission if someone reports child abuse or neglect. It is because the workers want to reach the child before their parents tell them what to say, or rather threaten them. And also, if there is any physical abuse found on the child, the investigator will try his or her best to get in touch with that child before the evidence is gone.
The investigation process is performed thoroughly by CPS, as its main objective is providing child protection. Thus, the investigator may ask you some nosy and invasive questions. They may ask you whether you are into drugs, alcohol, or any unfaithful act. Or you may also be asked that whether anyone has tried to touch the child inappropriately and if they get to eat every day or not.
Know your rights with child protective services
Some of you might ask yourself what are my rights with child protective services? Just like CPS has several rights on your child, you also have certain rights to protect your child. Some of your rights with CPS are given below:
Without your permission, CPS cannot enter your house:
Indeed, with proper reasons, child protective services can be called, and they can show up to your house anytime, without notice, but they cannot enter without your permission or consent. Unless the investigators have an order from the court, or they believe that the child is in immediate threat, they cannot enter unless you are fine with it.
If you are unprepared and CPS investigators show up at your house, you have the full right to tell them that it is not the best time for this, and you can ask them to schedule another time for the proceedings. After rescheduling, it is best to have a conversation with a lawyer about the best ways to prepare for the upcoming home visit.
If CPS files a lawsuit against you, you have the full right to a court-appointed attorney:
The caregivers and the parents have the right to deny any allegation made by the CPS. You have the right to an attorney throughout the 18-month-long investigation process. A lawyer can make sure that your children are in the best hands and nothing untrue is used against you.
Even if the child is taken away, parents or caregivers have the right to attend all court hearings. Unless the parents are a potential threat to their children, they can know about all the legal proceedings.
CPS cannot force you in a drug test:
CPS may drug test you regardless of your age, but with your consent. They cannot force you to take the drug test, as the law limits CPS powers in this regard. If you think that the worker is forcing you, you may tell them that it is irrelevant to the case or tell them to bring a court order with reasonable suspicion.
Remember that CPS does not want to harm or embarrass any family. CPS’s job is to investigate claims so that they can help you. It never wants to separate families; whatever they do, they do it to protect a child. They can provide you with the resources that you need for your family to work better.