Child Protective Services: What to Know




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One agency that all parents never want to come into contact with is Child Protective Services. Being at risk of losing your child is terrifying. Being educated on what they look for, what to do if they visit, and how to get your child back if they have taken them is important to know whether you are currently in the situation or not.
 
Causes For Contacting CPS
  • Abuse
    • Physical
      • Marks of abuse on a regular basis
    • Emotional
      • Sudden behavior changes
      • Low self esteem
      • Eating disorders
    • Sexual
      • Suspicious of others
      • Flinches when touched
      • Sudden depression or anxiety
  • Neglect
    • Poor hygiene
    • Malnutrition/emaciation
    • Misses school often
    • Regularly ill
  • Endangerment
    • Suspicion of parental drug use
    • Dangerous or unfit living situation
    • Inadequate adult supervision
    • Refused or inadequate medical care
 
What to Do If Visited
  • Be polite
  • Speak to them outside
  • Cooperate but answer questions briefly
  • Ask for official complain
  • If a case is open, get a lawyer with experience with Child Protective Services
  • Name family member you would like them to stay within event of being take
  • Background check will be conducted
  • Must have somewhere for your child to sleep
  • What to Do If They Take Your Child
  • Contact your (experienced) lawyer
  • Arrange for visitation (and get there consistently)
  • Bring supporters and requested caregiver to the Team Decision-Making Meeting
  • If your child is not returned, attend the detention hearing
  • The judge will determine whether your child can return home or the case should proceed
  • If your child is still not returned, attend the jurisdictional hearing
  • Admit or deny any claims made by CPS
  • If your child is still not returned, attend the dispositional hearing
  • Testimony and evidence will be presented and a decision made
  • Bring evidence of your fitness to parent your child
  • Bring supporters to testify about your fitness to parent your child
  • If the judge does not see fit to return your child child, a case plan and visitation will be discussed
  • Take part in your dependency hearings until enough progress has been made for your child to be returned home
What to Do If They Take Your Child
  • Contact your (experienced) lawyer
  • Arrange for visitation (and get there consistently)
  • Bring supporters and requested caregiver to the Team Decision-Making Meeting
  • If your child is not returned, attend the detention hearing
  • The judge will determine whether your child can return home or the case should proceed
  • If your child is still not returned, attend the jurisdictional hearing
  • Admit or deny any claims made by CPS
  • If your child is still not returned, attend the dispositional hearing
  • Testimony and evidence will be presented and a decision made
  • Bring evidence of your fitness to parent your child
  • Bring supporters to testify about your fitness to parent your child
  • If the judge does not see fit to return your child child, a case plan and visitation will be discussed
  • Take part in your dependency hearings until enough progress has been made for your child to be returned home
 
If they find that the claims made against you are unsubstantiated, Child Protective Services will drop it from your file and it will not go any further. However, if they see fit to open a case against you, it can be a long tedious process, as you can see. In the event that a case has been opened against you and you do everything requested of you to get your child back, you will undoubtedly have your child back. Don’t give up hope!


By: Alecia Stanton
 



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