Though you do your best as a parent, another adult feels as though you have violated law and put your children in danger. The concerned individual contacted Child Protective Services (CPS), and a case was opened to investigate your household. You worry greatly that you will lose contact with your children due to a misunderstanding.
CPS works to protect children from harmful environments across the United States. Though the CPS process seems daunting, investigators hope to determine whether your children’s living situation proves safe, secure and healthy. If CPS have taken your children after an investigation, it is essential that you contact an attorney committed to helping you earn back your custodial rights to your children.
The CPS process
According to ChildWelfare.gov, a website of government agencies attempting to provide information for those interested in the CPS process, CPS has the authority to determine whether your children are in danger through a series of steps.
The steps included are:
- Intake of the case after an adult alerts CPS
- Initial assessment of your family home environment
- An assessment of your family circumstances
- Planning for offered remedies
- Providing services
- Assessing your family progress
- Closing of the case
CPS investigation elements
The initial investigation of your children’s environment involves a CPS worker’s determination of the safety and security of your child’s situation. A caseworker may determine:
- Whether mistreatment is present
- Whether your children’s safety is at risk with family members
- The level of mistreatment if present
- Whether further services are needed
Determining whether your home proves to have adequate food and shelter, as well as whether your children are clean, fed and clothed, will all play a significant role in the continuation of the open case.
An attorney’s comfort and aid
If CPS determines that, due to your home, relationship problems or a child’s health risks, your children must immediately be removed from your custody, you must contact an attorney.
Experienced attorneys who deal with CPS disputes have years of experience and understand the emotional toll that losing custody temporarily has on parents. When you hire an attorney, he or she will look at the circumstances of the investigation and help bring a case forward if CPS acted without grounds.
The CPS process may prove difficult, but if you can prove that you can legally and safely care for your children, you deserve custody rights.