If CPS is after you, then possibly someone has made a complaint against you mentioning that you have neglected or abused your child. Whether the allegations are false or merit – CPS investigates every complaint it encounters. The investigation process however varies state to state, county to county, region to region and city by city.
The process of investigation can begin with a simple conversation and lead up to opening a cps case. Once a complaint is made, a CPS officer will likely start the investigation within 72 hours. To know what happens when CPS opens a case and how a CPS case can be dismissed – read on.
Factors involved in opening a CPS case
According to state laws, the CPS investigations begin with a complaint. A complaint of abuse regardless of physical, sexual, or mental during a child’s life brings in CPS investigations. Many states also take the threat of harm or the threat that disturbs a child’s mental health will constitute a CPS case.
On the contrary, neglect often happens when a grandparent or parent fails to provide proper care, food, and safety to their child. This may involve:
- Failure to be responsible for providing shelter, food, and child care
- Not providing a daycare institution or center for your child when you are not at home.
- Not providing special care to your child with special needs and additional treatment
- Not putting the child in the school or any educational institution
How do the CPS case investigations take place?
As mentioned, a CPS investigation can vary according to states and complaints. A CPS officer can act in a variety of ways after receiving the complaint. The officer may start by investigating the house by random visitations, speaking with the child, foster parents, grandparents, or neighbors. A CPS officer may also examine the child physically to witness or gather evidence of any physical abuse to the child during his visit.
A CPS officer or a caseworker will not only limit himself to this analysis, but he can also ask for any criminal history of the child or the abuser. By knowing the past of the child and the person in question, it will be easier to identify the substance abuse history or any other conviction they were involved in.
After investigating, the CPS service officer will be able to figure out if he needs to involve CPS if there is enough evidence to open a CPS case to ensure the child’s well-being.
If there’s evidence of child neglect, then CPA will appoint a social worker who will counsel and work with the abuser to make sure that the child is in safe hands. This will contain:
- Receiving parenting classes
- Providing drug tests and receiving drug-related treatments if abuse resulted after drug-related issues.
But if the caseworkers find that the child is in danger and need immediate help or other situation in which the abuser is not willing to cooperate, then the officer might contact the county attorney to file a petition in the court against the abuser adding child custodial clauses.
In addition to that, the petition would require the court to intervene for:
- Send the child to a foster home
- Giving temporary custody of the child to someone
- A court order that compels the parents to join in a safety plan designed for a child.
- Check out the detailed information about the dismissal of a CPS case at The Law Advisory
For how long does a CPS case last?
Many times when a CPS case is dismissed, this usually happens after the treatment and the required court tests and assessments. CPS usually notifies the involved parties that the case is closed. After the investigation is closed, CPS will send a formal letter within 90 days. Also, you can also check the CPS to find out if your investigation is still in progress or the case has been closed. You can do it by corresponding to CPS officials and by accessing CPS records.
Accessing CPS records
Other than the person who has filed a complaint against you in the first place, you can request CPS to access the CPS records about your case. You have to follow your state legislation in order to request the family court for accessing CPS records.
What should be done to dismiss a CPS case?
It is important to understand that there’s no legal obligation for you that state that you have to cooperate with CPS without a court order. But if you want to dismiss your case as soon as possible then it is better to comply with the CPS agents and follow the procedure smoothly. They may ask you to provide:
- Important documents
- Accessing your home for investigation and inspection
- Answers to the question
In order to get your CPS case dismissed, you must comply with CPS at your best before they take the case to the juvenile court and things get worse. Plus, your case can be dismissed even if CPS have taken it to the court. How?
The court will dismiss the case if CPS fails to provide enough evidence against the abuser and there’s no substantial evidence that supports the allegation. However, to get additional evidence and satisfy the court, CPS can still continue the investigation.
If you think that your case is getting complicated, hiring an experienced attorney will ensure a positive outcome for your case. Therefore, getting a personal attorney at your back will always be helpful in the dismissal of a CPS case.