CPS Case - Why you need a Lawyer Sooner than Later
One of the most frightening calls a parent can receive is one telling you that you are being investigated by Child Protective Services (CPS). If you have received such a call, it is important to speak with an attorney as soon as possible. What you do in the early stages can make a significant difference in the outcome of your involvement with CPS.
If Child Protective Services gains custody of your children through a court order, you are entitled to legal representation, even if you cannot afford an attorney. Unfortunately, you need an attorney long before CPS takes your children into foster care.
While social workers are trying in good faith to help you, they are also making a detailed record of their conversations and interactions with you and your family. This record is what they will use against you if they decide to take your children into foster care. It is important to understand the process, because you may be asked to do things that have significant legal consequences.
If you are in the process, get a notebook and take notes of all of your contacts and conversations. Be sure to write the date, time, place, telephone number or address in your notebook.
There are many terms commonly used by CPS social workers that are confusing, such as, “substantiation.” This is a finding that your child is neglected, abused or dependent. There will be a person named as the “responsible person.” This all occurs before you are entitled to have an attorney represent you.
Get the help of an attorney as soon as possible.