The Dos and Don’ts of a CPS Visit

CPS or Child Protective Services is a government agency in the United States of America that mainly deals with cases of child abuse and neglect.

They are state-level agencies where the workers work for the well-being and safety of children by intervening in the reported cases of child abuse.

There can be several situations of reported child abuse case. One of the most common ones is when there is a fight between the parents of a child and a police case is registered. Once there is an allegation of family violence, it is the obligation of the CPS team to ensure the safety of the child.

Your case will be investigated by a member of the CPS team. She is a social worker whose only priority is your child.

A CPS worker is generally called for a routine ‘welfare check’ after an incident of domestic violence. Some usual things which the social worker can ask you, are as follows:

. Whether you discipline your child?
. How do you discipline him/her?
. How do you meet the daily needs of your child?
. How do you handle difficult situations?

The CPS worker might want to speak to your child. She might want to have a look at your child’s bedroom, toys, homework and would look for sanitary procedures and whether food is available readily for your child.

There are certain things which one should keep in mind to have the CPS report in your favor.

Before the arrival of the CPS worker, take some time out and make a note of things that reflect your care for your child. For example, do you take her out, last time she was sick, whether she is appropriately immunized, her likes and dislikes etc.

Keep your house clean. Offer a sit and some coffee to your CPS worker. Be polite while talking to her. Explain her your routine chores. Show her some family pictures that reflect a happy family life and happiness of your child with you two.

Also, you should prepare your child well in advance. Tell her that someone will come to see how she lives and that she is a nice lady. Also, tell your child that in case the lady wants to speak to her about daddy and mommy alone, she should not get scared. You can also ask her to show the social worker her favorite toy.

Above all, reassure your CPS worker. Acknowledge her concern. Most importantly, convince her why there is no cause for worry and how the welfare of your child is the primary concern for you and your partner.

There are certain don’ts which one must remember.

In case you are charged for a crime, do not discuss the details with her. Decline it politely, saying your lawyer has asked not to divulge the details of the incident. But, make her clear that you are ready to cooperate with her and assure her that your child is in safe hands. These kinds of cases rarely get escalated – for instance, when a family refuses to cooperate and demands the presence of a lawyer during the entire procedure of ‘welfare check’.

Author: Allison Williams, founder of The Williams Law Group is a leading attorney in the area of DYFS defense and DCPP defense. Ms. Williams is a thought leader who specializes in child advocacy, child abuse and child neglect cases and has brought many changes and updates to the child welfare branch of law.

Provided by

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication at the time it was written. It is not intended to provide legal advice or suggest a guaranteed outcome as individual situations will differ and the law may have changed since publication. Readers considering legal action should consult with an experienced lawyer to understand current laws they may affect a case.

Find a Lawyer