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Some of the Most Common "CPS" Questions...

Hey... I would like to thank you for reading this, since the is my first blog post. And, as my first post, I thought it be best I jump right in with talking about some of the most frequently asked questions people ask, about a CPS and the CPS investigation. Q: What do I do when CPS knocks at my door? A: The short answer is... ask for their identification. If you hear a knock at your door, and the person says that they are a CPS, the very first thing you should do is to ask to see their ID. There are some CPSs who are given a shield by their agency, but most don't. Most are given a plastic ID, from their agency, with a picture, their name, their professional title, and the agency they work for. If they carry a shield, they're supposed to have both of them, with them, at all times. So, you have a right to ask to see their crudentials, because you have a right to know who you are speaking to, before you say anything to them. The other reason you want to see their ID, is because CPSs don't have uniforms, so they're dressed in regular clothes. By asking for their professional information, you're making sure they are legit. Q: Do I have to cooperate with Child Protective Services? A: The short answer is... yes and no. When the CPS is first assigned an investigation or case, they will keep doing whatever they can until they see the child or children. First, the CPS will try, usually more than once, to see the child or children at the home. If that doesn't work, then the CPS will try to see the child at their school, after-school program, day care, a parent's job, or even a public place like a park or doctor's office. If they keep trying and can't see the child, then they will go to Family Court and ask for a Court Order to make the Parent or Guardian bring the child/children to the CPS Office or to Court itself. If the parent doesn't listen to the Court Order, then the CPS could get more or different Court Orders, including one that can get the parent arrested. The one thing anyone will tell you, who knows about court, is that you always want to avoid it if you can. So, on the one hand, a lawyer or CPS will tell you that as a parent, you don't need to cooperate. What they should also tell you, if they're good at what they do, is that if you don't give the CPS at least some information, then you run the risk of getting the Court involved. And, whenever a judge is involved, the only person in control is the judge; not even the CPS or the CPS's lawyer making the requests to the Judge. Wouldn't you rather keep control of the situation? That's why you need someone who can properly guide you through this process. Q: How much information do I, the parent, need to tell the CPS? A: The short answer is... there isn't one specific answer. What the CPS needs to know... is really what they need to see. The CPS needs to see any child or children living at the address that is listed on the Report, and any child or children listed on the Report, no matter where they live. If the school records show that a child is living in the home, even if they've moved or there is some sort of mix-up; then the CPS will keep asking questions and keep trying to see the child until the matter is taken care of, or the child is seen. The term that is used for when a CPS needs to keep trying, repeatedly, to see the child/children and to repeatedly try to address the allegations/concerns of the report, are called Diligent Efforts. And, remember that the CPS needs to try everything they can to not only see the child/children, to not only assess for the children's overall well-being (medical, educational, etc,), they also need to find out as much as they can from the parents- and anyone else, about the allegations/concerns of the report. But, please remember, the main things the CPS needs to do is see the child or children as soon as possible, from the time of the initial report. Then, the next step, is to see the child/children about every two weeks, make sure the children are safe (assess for all aspects of safety), and understand every aspect of the allegations/concerns of the report. Q: What should I expect to happen during the CPS investigation? A: The short answer is that you should expect the CPS to visit the home, about every two weeks. During this time the CPS will see the child/children (assess for marks and bruises, and their well-being) and follow-up about the allegations/concerns of the report. But know that not every CPS agency has their caseworkers/investigators/CPSs make visits every two weeks. During the bi-weekly visits (the term used by the CPS for the visits made every two weeks) the CPS will ask follow-up questions about the concerns/allegations of the report. The CPS will ask about the progress of the services offered to address the concerns or allegations. The CPS will ask about any concerns that are stopping the family from being able to start or continue with the services, and what the issues are. The CPS will ask monitoring questions about the children's medical and educational well-being. The CPS will also ask general questions that monitor the over-all well-being of the child or children. Q: How long is a CPS Investigation? A: The short answer is that it depends on which State you're in. Most States require the investigation to be closed no later than 60 days from the start of the investigation. Some States require a case to be closed in less time, around 30-45 days; and others still, use the older time-frame of 90 days. Q: How much time does it take from the time a report is made, for a CPS to respond? A: The quick answer is, each State is different. Some Sates will code a CPS case, or investigation differently. Some agencies let their CPSs only make one visit, but it depends on how the agency accepts and categorizes each case/investigation. Some States will accept requests from other States to check on children, or do a well-check, and others won't. Some States will assess that the case/investigation can close after just one visit, and others don't. Some States will assess each investigation/case, and give different amounts of time for their CPS to respond. For some, it is right away. Others, within 24 hours, and others still, within 48 to 72 hours from the time the report was made.

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Quinlan Smith
Quinlan Smith
11 sept 2023

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