The aim of Child Protective Services is to make sure that all children have a safe and supportive home. They do this by responding to complaints and touring homes to assess whether they are appropriate and nurturing for a child. If they decide that a home isn’t fit for kids, they obtain a warrant to remove the children from the home and place them under the guardianship of another person. Though they usually aim to place the children with a relative such as a grandparent or an aunt and uncle, many times, the children are put in foster care instead.
Opening a CPS case is an action you can take as a parent to fight against CPS’s decision to take your child. By going to court, you may be able to prove that you have a suitable home for your children and that the agency should not have taken your children away.
Why Do I Need a San Bernardino CPS Attorney?
When you are fighting for custody of your children, the stakes are high. If you are unable to win back the custody of your children, they may suffer lasting trauma. What’s more, your family may never be the same again. You and your family have a lot to lose if the case goes poorly.
What’s more, these cases are almost always emotional. It is extremely difficult to keep your emotions in check as a parent, and the court system only compounds this reality. Properly fighting your CPS case in court is challenging when emotions run high, and the judge tends to stick with the state’s judgment if the parent can’t make a compelling argument. Trying to fight on your own lowers your chances of success.
It’s best to trust an attorney who has experience in CPS cases and can show the court that you are fit to retain custody of your children. This gives you the best chance of returning to normalcy quickly.
How Long Does CPS Take to Investigate a Case?
For such a serious matter, one would think that CPS would take weeks or months to come to a conclusion. In reality, these investigations are completed within 30 days. During this period, they will perform home visits to assess the state of the home, the capability of the parents, and the well being of the children. They will likely interview members of the household individually and ultimately come to a conclusion about what should be done.
Why is CPS Called?
There are many individual reasons why a person may report a parent to CPS. However, these calls are usually because it appears that abuse or neglect is occurring in the home. These are serious accusations, the applications of which range greatly.
Child abuse doesn’t always present itself the same and certainly isn’t as easy to spot as a black eye. In fact, it looks different depending on the situation. Some common types of child abuse include:
- Sexual abuse, exploitation, harassment, and child sex crimes.
- Purposely inflicting physical injuries on a child.
- Using inhumane punishments.
- Physically hurting a child as a punishment.
- Emotionally hurting a child on purpose.
- Using or possessing drugs in the home.
- Domestic violence.
There are many other ways that abuse can manifest. CPS is trained to look for signs of abuse in the home, no matter what kind it may be.
Neglect is another offense that CPS officers look for. Essentially, neglect occurs when a parent fails to fulfill their responsibilities for a child’s basic care and well being. This may include:
- Failing to properly bathe them or failing to give them the tools to bathe themself if they are old enough.
- Not providing them with weather-appropriate clothing.
- Not providing a child with proper opportunities and places to sleep.
- Not giving the child adequate food and water.
- Allowing for unsafe conditions in a home with a child.
- Failing to bring children to regular doctor and dentist appointments.
Neglect is a kind of abuse, and therefore the law takes it very seriously. Parents must provide these things for their children, regardless of their living situation. For example, after a divorce, both parents must provide necessities for their children when the children are in their home.
Fighting Abuse and Neglect Charges
As with any case, there are two sides to every abuse or neglect story. Though the CPS officer may have thought that they saw one thing, what was actually occurring may have been much different. It’s possible for them to make incorrect assumptions or to act hastily when removing a child from a home.
Because there is room for error, you can fight your abuse or neglect charges through a hearing. With the help of a licensed CPS attorney, you can voice your side of the story and maintain why you should keep custody of your kids. When presented in the right way, your argument may cause the judge to put the children back in your care.
If the judge does maintain that your home is unfit for your children, you can continue to fight. Making and executing a plan to change your habits and lifestyle can help to show the judge that you are serious about caring for your children. The court does not want your child to be in foster care forever, so working hard to improve can go a long way. Your attorney can help you to make a plan, as well as file appeals, and meet paperwork deadlines.
Your Parental Rights
It is important to remember that you have rights as a parent. Though the state prioritizes child safety, they must perform an adequate assessment before taking your children away. CPS officers may not enter your home without a proper warrant. They also cannot abuse or manipulate you or your family in any way, such as attempting to coerce members of your family or creating a false narrative. Some situations allow you to sue CPS for their behavior, as well as go to court to regain custody.
A trained CPS attorney will be able to help you build a case to sue the CPS officer if it’s appropriate. It’s important that justice is served if someone from the state has violated your basic human or parental rights.
Contact My SoCal Lawyers to Understand the Process
Fighting for your children is one of the most heartbreaking events imaginable. It can be difficult to see how your argument will change the state’s mind, and many parents feel as though all is lost. It is important to know that this is untrue. Though CPS aims to do what is best for children, they can make mistakes. With the help of our team at My SoCal Lawyers, you can show the court where they went wrong and convince them that you are a fit caregiver for your children.
Don’t try to navigate this process alone. For high-quality, expert CPS legal advice, contact us online today.