Child abuse allegations have been made against me. Should I talk to the Detective/CPS worker?
No, never, don't even think about it! I know the detective told you that he "Just wants to hear your side of the story." Trust me, he has already formed an opinion of whether or not you "did it." He is just looking for more evidence, and hoping for a confession!
Don't worry about how it will look if you tell them I want an attorney!
It is the normal response for a person that has done nothing wrong to want to give their version of events, but DO NOT talk to CPS or law enforcement before talking to an attorney experienced with child abuse allegations. The investigator is looking to lock you into statements now that can come back to haunt you. There is nothing to be gained by talking to the police during an investigation. They either have enough evidence to prosecute you, or they don't. Most of the time the detective/CPS worker has made up his or her mind about you.
The lie detector test.
Many times the Detective will offer a lie detector test, or polygraph, to "help you clear your name." Again, don't fall for it! He wants you to take a polygraph administered by another law enforcement officer, NOT an independent polygrapher. If you fail, it cannot be used against you at trial, BUT it will only give a prosecutor more reasons to prosecute you, even if it is a weak case for the State. If you pass, don't think you are in the clear. On a side note, your attorney may want you to take a polygrph test administered by a qualified and independant professional. The results of this test would be between you and your attorney unless you decide otherwise.
What should I do then?
Hire an experienced criminal defense attorney that has experience dealing with child abuse investigations as soon as possible. An experienced criminal defense attorney will have knowledge to help guide you. Each person's situation is different, but the answer is always the same, do not take your chances telling your side of the story so you can hopefully save a couple of bucks, or because you are worried how it will look to the police/CPS. The money you spend on an attorney now could be the best investment of your life.