What can CPS legally make me do to get my kids back? Can they force me to take a drug test?

Recently on our forum a user asked, “I had my kids taken away from me by CPS. I followed all the requirements they told me to do but right before the kids came back home CPS said someone called them and told them I was doing drugs. Now they want me to take a drug test. Is this legal and what can they legally require me to do to get my kids back?”

Child Protective Services (CPS) has the legal right to remove your children from your custody if they believe your actions or inaction has resulted in abuse or neglect. Although CPS maintains that they will work with parents to help them make changes to improve the safety of their homes, there are instances where children are removed from parents with and without a court order.

What should I do if my children have been removed from my care?

If your children have been removed from your care then it’s important to understand that very serious charges have been made about your ability to care for your child or to provide a safe environment for them.

The good news is, however, that you have the legal right to details about any accusations which have been made against you. Do not settle for vague allegations. Finding out the details of the accusations can better help you fight against the charges.

As with all actions by the state, which might potentially lead to criminal charges, it’s important that you do not make any unnecessary statements. Parents sometimes try to be helpful, but making voluntary statements to someone who may or may not be determined to find evidence of abuse may not be in your best interest. Remember, statements made to CPS workers can be used against you.

Additionally, you have the right, under most conditions, to refuse to allow a CPS worker into your home if they do not have a warrant or court order to enter. Allowing any government officer to enter your home waives your federally-protected fourth amendment constitutional protection against unlawful search and seizure. Do not unnecessarily forfeit that right!

Do I need a lawyer to fight CPS charges?

If CPS has removed your children from your care, you will need to contact a lawyer immediately. Although this could be very expensive, the alternative may require you to defend yourself against allegations of abuse, despite the fact you may not have the legal capability to do so.

Finally, a good lawyer can answer your questions and make sure you do not buckle under pressure and admit guilt for something you may or may not have done. If you do not admit guilt you have a better chance of working with the CPS to alleviate any issues and concerns they may have about your child’s safety.

What can the CPS make me do to get my kids back?

Now that we understand about the power of the CPS and how to protect yourself against what can often times be overreaching actions, it’s important to understand what steps the CPS can make you take to get your children back.

For example, as related to your question about drug testing, it’s important to understand that CPS has a great deal of latitude to force random substance abuse testing if they are considering returning a child to your care.

In fact, drug testing may be required in all of the following cases:

-If the case is scheduled for closure -If CPS is considering reuniting the child with his or her family -If there are physical changes to the parent which indicate drug abuse may be present -If CPS has received new information that a parent is using drugs -If the parent has terminated substance abuse treatment -If the parent refuses to create a relapse safety plan -If there has been a previously positive drug test -If the parent has not taken the necessary steps to end substance abuse -If the parent is not involved in substance abuse treatment after a recommendation -If the regional substance abuse specialist recommends testing

Bottom line:

As you can see from the list detailed above, there are variety specific reasons that a CPS worker can legally demand that you submit to a drug test, especially if they are considering putting a child back into your care. Now it’s time to talk to a lawyer and make sure you understand your rights.

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