If you get that dreaded knock on your door from Children’s Protective Services (CPS) one day, it is best to be fully prepared for what comes next. While all cases and circumstances that led up to the complaint filed on your family are unique, it is vital to understand the similarities in all cases.
Below are some tips for what to do and avoid doing if CPS opens a case against your family.
Don’t let them inside unless accompanied by a warrant
Just as when the police arrive without a warrant, you are well within your rights to refuse them entry to your home. It’s a good idea to step outside to meet them and pull the door closed behind you. The CPS worker can insist on seeing face-to-face any children who are in your care to determine that they are not injured or neglected, however.
Limit what you say
Being polite is encouraged, but don’t get chatty. These folks are not on your side. Keep in mind that CPS may have already contacted your child’s school and spoken to them without your knowledge or consent. Since you won’t know what was said in that exchange, you are well within your rights to end the interview there and tell them you will speak to them again after you seek legal guidance.
Be prepared to be misled
CPS officers are somewhat like police in that they do not have to reveal the truth to you and may mislead or misdirect your attention. But unlike police officers, they do not have to apprise you of your right to remain silent. Exercise that right regardless.
Take it seriously
Many parents underestimate the power that CPS can wield over their families. This is a major mistake. You should always err on the side of caution and take it extremely seriously if CPS intervenes in the parenting of your children.