If you find yourself in any fear that you will be under investigation, keep in mind, the investigation process starts as follows:
There must be "sufficient evidence" captured during an intake process. The caseworker must decide the further risk of child maltreatmentand determine the family's needs, strengths, and circumstances.
The purpose of an investigation is to decide if a child is in a home that is safe from abuse within a specific time frame and there are no signs of neglect. If the family poses low safety and risk concerns, it is addressed in other ways.
They do a further assessment of the overall family functioning. They will gather information from other individuals and run a background check on all adults. It will either be dropped or continue into a full-on investigation with consequences during the primary investigation.
Issues in the family's power and control can lead to a full investigation, meaning that the quality of relationships is terrible.
If possible, CPS will engage the family directly to establish the accuracy of the information gathered.
Suppose the investigators rule that something seems wrong based on the relationships, interviews, and dynamics. In that case, they are more likely to do an in-depth investigation and decide an alternative for child custody.
Full CPS Investigation
It is a caseworker's job to get the whole story and evidence on a potential cause of a child living in an unsafe situation.
During an extensive investigation, CPS will reach out to other adults that frequently come into contact with your child. These people include teachers, law enforcement officers, caretakers, and physicians.
They could also include relatives, neighbors, and witnesses to the alleged abuse.
After rounds of interviews and collecting information, caseworkers are looking for any of the following:
As a result of the investigation, CPS will make an official determination of whether maltreatment occurred and whether or not it meets the criteria to be Substantiated, Unsubstantiated, or Ruled Out.
If Substantiated, CPS will most likely take the child into custody until finding an alternative arrangement where the child will be safer.
When an investigation in Unsubstantiated, children are not taken, but it will have negative consequences as it relates to the person’s involvement in the child’s life. The person may be prohibited from participating in some activities such as sporting events or chaperoning school functions.
If unfounded, then all charges will be dropped, known as Ruled Out.
When CPS does show up and an investigation begins, a good lawyer can strategize and protect you from losing your family. Contact JC Law for a free initial consultation to see how we can help you maintain your household with the kids in it.