View Full Version : If CPS shows up, does a parent have to talk to them?


vera31
01-07-2011, 03:00 PM
I have seen several TV court shows over the last few years where CPS has been called on a parent out of spite, as revenge. Just curious: if CPS shows up out of the blue, can they legally force you to let them in your home and talk to them? What should once say or do if that ever happens? Has anyone ever been a victim of false allegations that led to a CPS visit?

Lonzo's Lady..
01-07-2011, 03:27 PM
I have seen several TV court shows over the last few years where CPS has been called on a parent out of spite, as revenge. Just curious: if CPS shows up out of the blue, can they legally force you to let them in your home and talk to them? What should once say or do if that ever happens? Has anyone ever been a victim of false allegations that led to a CPS visit?

I have never had any personal contact with CPS but as an ER Nurse Manager I have been asked inside the exam room of lots of kids that were referred to CPS to check out charges of abuse or neglect. IMO I don't think there is any way to legally avoid them when/if they come to your door b/c basically they are doing a welfare check, right? I am not an attorney and if you need legal advice maybe you should seek one; I'm just saying once a claim is made it is very unlikely it will just fade away 'cause no one answers the door or refuses to let them in :confused:...JMO...Marcia

nimuay
01-07-2011, 03:33 PM
Whether you can avoid them is different from whether you should, I suspect. If they have a report of injury or danger to a child, they have a legal duty to investigate and act. If you hinder that, you can certainly expect further interest from them, and it will have the force of law behind it.

If, on the other hand, there is no substance to the claim, it's definitely best to speak with them and let them speak with the child.

I had a whacked-out roommate report me once (anonymously). When the CPS agent came to inquire, I spoke openly with her, and she interviewed my son separately as well. After she had done that, she told me that it was clear that there were no problems and no further actions would be taken.

PreciousLyrics
01-07-2011, 03:33 PM
by law they have to check out any report..i had a friend do this to me out of spite..they kno if a child is bein abused or not..in my case not..lol..i had a nice conversation n the lady told me straight up..i donno why im here ur kids r oviously spoiled..lol..i guess it depends..but i donno bout legally cuz that would look more suspicious if u didnt wanna talk to them..n e way they will just leave and come back with cops and a warrent..

vera31
01-07-2011, 03:47 PM
Hmm, I guess it would be best then to let them in and tell them that you're having a problem with so and so, and that this person is probably behind the call. It seems that CPS would have the ability to tell if the call is b.s. or legit.

Colorado_Lawyer
01-07-2011, 04:04 PM
Your questions is a little unclear. There is a difference between YOU talking to them, and you LETTING them talk to your children. You don't have to talk to them and probably shouldn't if you are afraid there is a legitimate complaint against you. You always have a fifth amendment right to remain silent, no matter what.

CPS doesn't need your permission to talk to your children. If you refuse to cooperate and give them access, they will come back with the police or sheriff and you will be taken outside while they investigate. This will make matters worse.

only1love
01-07-2011, 04:05 PM
I don't think you can avoid them. I have a neighbor who got reported to CPS for spanking her toddler for running in the road into oncoming traffic! She pulled him out of the road and spanked him for running in the road. Someone saw it, reported her and when she got home, they were there.

She had to answer questions, and they examined her son. She was investigated for a long time because she told the woman that she would rather spank him for that than view him laid out in a coffin! The social worker did not like the answer and kept coming back until she was satisfied that this woman was not abusive but did believe in spanking.

hischubchub
01-07-2011, 04:08 PM
I don't think you can avoid them. I have a neighbor who got reported to CPS for spanking her toddler for running in the road into oncoming traffic! She pulled him out of the road and spanked him for running in the road. Someone saw it, reported her and when she got home, they were there.

She had to answer questions, and they examined her son. She was investigated for a long time because she told the woman that she would rather spank him for that than view him laid out in a coffin! The social worker did not like the answer and kept coming back until she was satisfied that this woman was not abusive but did believe in spanking.

This is ridiculous!!! Some people shoud mind their own

ellemenopea
01-07-2011, 04:15 PM
fightcps.com (http://fightcps.com/2010/04/09/what-to-do-if-child-protective-services-social-workers-are-investigating-you)

Lonzo's Lady..
01-07-2011, 04:36 PM
This is ridiculous!!! Some people shoud mind their own

I hear ya' and while I don't mean to take away from the OP's questions or hi-jack her thread I just want to say after years of working for Dallas County and seeing some of the things I have witnessed there one of the most frequent comments I hear is "Why didn't someone help this kid -or- why didn't someone report these folks" so it leaves me as a person feeling torn and frustrated at times wondering when and when not to intervene. :confused: As a Hospital Worker my duties and obligations are crystal clear but as Marcia Q. Public not so.... :shrug: When it comes to a child possibly being physically abused, NOT SPANKED BUT HARMED; I personally would rather err on the side of caution. JMO...Marcia

bumblebee37
01-07-2011, 04:39 PM
Colorado Lawyer gave you sound advise and counsel.
If I showed up at your house because of a referral and you didn't want to talk with me or let me see your children then it would make me concerned that something wasn't right at your house. Just let the investigator tell you why she is there and let her see your children so she can move on to the next referral. We get them all day long, we can determine within a few minutes if anyone is at risk or if it a bullshit/spiteful call in.
bb

yourself
01-07-2011, 06:03 PM
You don't have to talk with them. You don't have to let them inside your house. They will come back with the cops, and the cops will talk with the child. That doesn't have to happen inside your house. You can always demand to have your lawyer present for any and all questioning.

One of my former clients during a child custody thing resulted in repeated visits by CPS. I wound up at the house a number of times dealing with everything. Ask for all paperwork and reports.

Most CPS cases don't wind up in court, and CPS workers can usually sniff out a real complaint from an overreacting neighbor or an aggrieved spouse. That's not always the case, and occasionally you'll hit a CPS worker just wrong. THere's no problem in sussing out whether this is a major thing or not. If it starts getting out of hand or you feel the CPS worker is out of line, turn them away. The presence of police can help you out with an out of control or overworked CPS worker. Also, you can demand your attorney be present.

Also realize that even if there is a case, that doesn't mean that CPS is going to instantly remove your kids. The environment must be a danger to the child for them to take the kid(s). So, if you're in a crack house, your kids are going into emergency shelter. If your kid ran into the street and you swatted his butt, you're probably going to keep your kids even if they open up a case.

If your kids are placed in emergency shelter, you have a right to a hearing within a short amount of time (usually 72 hours). Also, they have to make an effort to find family to place the kids with. So, it's not like TV where the CPS worker comes in, takes the kids, and 10 years later, the parents are reunited with their kids. There's a lot of process involved, whether the parents stay involved or not.

But, CPS workers always show up at the strangest times. Had a client who's cat died. She finds the cat and is all upset, starts crying. All of a sudden, there's CPS, wanting to talk about a police report filed 2 days before. Go figure.

LifeTraveler
01-07-2011, 08:06 PM
Many moons ago when my children were small, my son, who was about 3 at the time, climbed a trellis on the outside of the house. Before I could reach him, he slipped and fell. He didn't cry; there didn't seem to be any injuries.

However, the next morning, he had a slight black eye. I guess it was the way he fell.

At any rate, when his father picked him and his sister up for visitation, he saw this. On the following Monday afternoon, there was a juvenile officer at my house to investigate cruelty. He wouldn't tell me who filed the complaint, but I already knew.

I invited him inside and we sat in the living room while he asked me questions about my son's black eye. I was open and honest with the man. About that time, my son came in from the other room from a nap, climbed into my lap and asked me to put his shoes on for him. By then, he had finished asking me questions. He took one look at my son and I interacting and said, "I can see there's no abuse here. Thank you for your time." And that was a wrap. I never saw them again.

vera31
01-07-2011, 08:26 PM
Thanks everyone for your answers! I'm glad CPS can't come in and snatch kids based off a lie.

bumblebee37
01-08-2011, 02:13 PM
And in defense for CPS, I would just like to say that 'snatching kids' isn't the goal. CPS is a tool of the state to protect and defend the rights of children that are neglected, abused, and sometimes unwanted. Every referral has to be checked into no matter how insane the caller sounds. :shrug:

vera31
01-08-2011, 02:32 PM
Thanks. I'm sure there are cruel parents out there and thank goodness for CPS in those cases.

KamisSister
01-08-2011, 04:54 PM
It must depend on some things, I know a guy who told the caseworker no and slammed the door and nothing else ever happened. I think the deal is if you refuse they have to get a court order and maybe in that case a judge woudn't give one?

yourself
01-08-2011, 05:10 PM
It must depend on some things, I know a guy who told the caseworker no and slammed the door and nothing else ever happened. I think the deal is if you refuse they have to get a court order and maybe in that case a judge woudn't give one?

No. It depends on what the rest of the investigation suggests. In IL, see
http://www.state.il.us/dcfs/child/index.shtml#Investigations

An investigation isn't limited to looking at the kid. However, if it's suspected that a crime was committed AND the child is in danger, DCFS will call the cops. Depending on the exigency of the circumstances, a search warrant may be required, and that would involve a judge. But, under some circumstances, a warrant is not required.

I think the stats given in IL are most interesting. Less than 1/3 of all reports are "indicated". And, much as we might love the whole concept of required process and all the time that it takes, that same process is afforded parents who just abandon a kid and never show for court. Further, because the perception is that the parents are always the preferred provider, half assed parents who can't get their crap together are frequently given years to try, with the child living in limbo, before the parent's rights are terminated and a child is given a stable, decent environment.

It's a 2 edged sword; while mandatory reports have increased calls, plus the general stupidity of people, the process is still biased towards a parent's rights frequently at the expense of a kid. So, see both sides of it; some good parents are burdened for a short amount of time, but at the same time, some abused and neglected kids are burdened for their lifetimes.

Da_Baby
01-08-2011, 05:30 PM
[QUOTE=vera31;5878018]I have seen several TV court shows over the last few years where CPS has been called on a parent out of spite, as revenge. Just curious: if CPS shows up out of the blue, can they legally force you to let them in your home and talk to them? What should once say or do if that ever happens? Has anyone ever been a victim of false allegations that led to a CPS visit?***
CPS` job is to investigate the call whether it be true or false, if they believe the child is in danger the child is removed immediately. If you make it hard on them to investigate the call, they will just return with the police & continue with reason for stopping by. They don`t necessarily need to vsit the home if the child attends school they sometimes visit there. And that is 100% allowed without your knowledge or consent.

FriscoLady
01-08-2011, 06:31 PM
CPS has entirely too much authority. They should not be allowed under any circumstance to talk to the child without either parental or legal representation.

And this stuff about a CPS agent being able to tell if a child is abuse in a sec. Tell an acquaintance of mine that - Kathryn Dawn Wilson - (Little Rascal's Day Care of Edenton, NC). The CPS workers in that case should be in prison, imo.

I realize that there are children that need to be protected, however two many times mistakes are made, agendas are driven, such as a husband or wife trying to win custody of the children by filing false accusations.

I firmly believe that CPS should have absolutely no sovereign immunity from criminal and civil prosecution when accusations they pursue prove to be false.

My last divorce was brought on by my children making allegations against their sperm donor that he was sexually abusing them. The allegations proved to be true. I reported him to CPS on several occasions, and he was reported several times by the Family Advocate to the military command I was attached too.

CPS investigations were shoddy, haphazard and for some odd reason on at least two occasions they accused me of the abuse. I had opened our home, our lives, every aspect of our existence to CPS.

If it had not been for the Military Family Advocate contacting a Detective on the Police Force of the City we lived in, I am not sure that my ex would not have succeeded in turning the whole thing around on me.

As it was through the efforts of the Military Family Advocate, the Detective, and finally at long last a CPS worker that finally saw what he was trying to do, I got full custody, and he lost all visitation.

God forbid what would have happened if I had not been active duty then.

One my Commanding Officer kept me from checking my personal weapon out of the Armory and taking care of the problem myself the very night I found out what my ex was doing to my children when I was at sea. That admittedly would have been pretty stupid on my part. However, I was so angry at my ex that I could not think logically and was operating on impulse only.

Two a Chief Petty Officer from my command actually had to the presence of mind to go with me when I took my children out of the house. Even then the now - ex-scumbag husband tried and doggone near succeeded in charging me with Parental Kidnap.

Three the Military Family Advocate stood with me throughout the whole situation - did a proper investigation - unlike the state CPS - worked with my attorney - and did what had to be done to insulate my children and I from the incompetent local CPS.

I am not saying all CPS is like that, I am saying that when CPS messes up they should have to pay the piper, just as any Tom, Dick, or Jane would.

Or at the very, very least strong and strict oversight put over state CPS agencies with strong and harsh penalties on CPS personnel who screw up.

CPS is there to protect the children, who is there to protect parents from CPS?

Patti