Child Protective Services
What does Child Protective Services mean?
Child Protective Services (CPS) is the governmental agency in many states which provides services such as foster care, transitional services for youths in foster care transitioning to adulthood, adoption services, and investigations of reports of neglect and abuse of children within a specified state.
Although all states have a governmental agency which provides these services to the citizens of the states, some state agencies which serve this purpose may be called a different name such as Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), Department of Social Services (DSS), or Social Services.
CPS and investigation of abuse of a child
One of the most important services provided by CPS is the investigation of alleged abuse or neglect of children and the elderly within the state. CPS will investigate all reports of abuse against any persons who are 65 years of age, children under the age of 18, or any person who is disabled.
Citizens are required by law to report suspected abuse. State laws protect those who make reports, assuming the reports are made in good faith, from civil and criminal liability.
Child Protective Services will conduct the investigation after receiving a complaint. The action steps taken following the investigation will depend on the severity of the abuse or neglect and whether CPS believes changes can be made within the home to improve the safety of the individual in question.
Will CPS remove children from their home?
CPS does not want to remove children from their home if they can safely resolve the issue, but if they believe the child’s safety is in question, they do have the legal right to remove a child. Generally, however, if the child is removed they attempt to place the child with a friend or family member who can safely care for the child.
Then CPS works directly with the parents to develop an action plan to resolve the safety issues. If the issues cannot be resolved, however, CPS may be able to move for the permanent removal of children from a home.
Do I need a lawyer to fight CPS charges?
If CPS has started an investigation of your home after a report of any type of abuse, you should talk to a lawyer. In some cases, depending on the severity of the allegations against you, you may also be charged with a crime. Defending yourself against criminal charges without the help of criminal defense lawyer is not recommended.
Category: Family Law