Child Abuse Investigations: Know the Process, Know Your Rights

    Inside Information for Parents & Caretakers


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    How This Guide Will Help

    During my years as a CPS worker, I realized how little parents know about their rights. The parents I worked with were even more in the dark about child welfare laws and how CPS investigates allegations of abuse.

    The purpose of this guide is to shed light on the Child Abuse Investigation process.

    It’s also about empowering you with the right information so your family doesn’t become a victim of the system.

    This guide will provide you with the information and resources you’ll need. You’ll Learn:


    • The TRUTH about the child abuse investigation process
    • What happens if you or your spouse are accused of abuse.
    • What most CPS workers fail to explain…YOUR RIGHTS!
    • Immediate Action to Take
    • How to Get What You Need (& Advocate for your kids)
    • How to Recover & Move Forward

    Guide Chapters

    Chapter 1

    The Truth About Abuse

    Chapter 2

    How This Guide Will Help

    Chapter 3

    Understanding Child Welfare Laws

    Chapter 4

    Definitions of Abuse

    Chapter 5

    Examples of Abuse & Neglect


    Chapter 6

    What You Need to Know About Child Protective Services

    Chapter 7

    Know Your Rights

    Chapter 8

    What Happens After a Child Abuse Report is Made

    Chapter 9

    Getting Help for You & Your Family

    Chapter 10

    Empowerment Tools

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    Guide Excerpt

    The Truth About Child Protective Services


    The child welfare system is not perfect and flawed in many ways. Like other large government organizations, it is plagued with issues of mismanagement, bureaucracy, poorly trained staff, limited resources, outdated policies and procedures, and disconnect from the constantly shifting needs of the community.

    It’s also handicapped by the scale of services it provides and the size of the population it serves. As a result, families experience a delay or lapse in services and difficulty getting the help they need. CPS is just one branch of the system. The system also manages such services as family & juvenile court, adoption, foster care, family preservation, residential treatment, domestic violence services, employment assistance, financial aid, and housing assistance.

    Knowing what this requires, I say with confidence the system does what it was intended to do. That being said, I must keep it real and acknowledge that CPS has also done a disservice to many families as well.

    CPS is responsible for breaking some families apart. There are times when the agency has not acted in the best interest of the child. There are practices and regulations that are in opposition to the goal of family preservation. I fully acknowledge that for many families, the process of going through the child welfare system has been a living Hell.

    I believe it is both scary and embarrassing to have a CPS worker show up at your door. I have always felt like it’s an intrusive process, especially for those parents who have done nothing wrong. Investigations are thorough because they need to be. But having a stranger ask personal, private, and sometimes intimate questions about your life can feel demoralizing.

    It would be naive of me to assume my experience as a CPS worker is the same for CPS workers in other counties, states, and countries. We each have our own personalities, work ethics, morals, beliefs, and issues. And I say issues because I’m fully aware there are workers who have no business doing this job.

    As with any job, there are employees who use their position to work out their own issues of ineptness, unhappiness, and need to control. It is not unusual for families to get caught up in the government’s overreach and a worker’s personal agenda. I have to believe there’s a way to keep children safe while still respecting the sanctity of parenthood and family.


    Know Your Rights

    Whether you’re a parent, caregiver, or relative it’s crucial you understand the basics of parental rights and state rights. Sadly, we are living in a time when we are losing more and more of our civil liberties and individual rights.

    I believe child abuse protection laws are very necessary yet I’m also an advocate for a parent’s right to make decisions without state intervention. I want to empower you with information to help you protect your rights and protect your family.


    Parental Rights

    CPS does not have the legal authority to enter your home and conduct an investigation without your consent.

    CPS is authorized to interview parents, children, and family members in a household if they have a warrant, probable cause (credible evidence or witness), or imminent danger.

    If you agree with your child being interviewed in your home, you have a right to be present during the interview.

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