How to Find Out if There Is a CPS Case Against You
There are a few ways you will find out if CPS is investigating you. For example, if there is a domestic violence incident at your house or there is some kind of incident in your home and the police come. Many times, the police will tell you they have to make a referral to CPS because police officers are mandated reporters. You’ll know that it’s possible that CPS will follow up on the arrest or the incident.
Other possibilities are if you are in a therapy session and you report something to a therapist, even though you have a therapist-patient privilege, they are also mandatory reporters and may have to report certain things to CPS. Oftentimes, the therapist will tell you that they have to report this to CPS. Then, CPS may or may not follow up and start an investigation about whatever concern was expressed by the mandated reporter.
Another way you may find out you are being investigated by CPS is if CPS comes to your door, unannounced. If you are not home, they will leave a business card and they will ask you to please return their call. They won’t tell you why they want to talk to you. Sometimes, instead of leaving the business card, they’ll mail you a letter saying they want to talk to you or they will drop a letter in your mailbox.
What Type Of Evidence Does CPS Use To Determine If They Are Filing A Case Against Me Or My Family? Is An Accusation Enough?
An accusation is enough to initiate an inquiry by CPS. The accusation might be from a police officer, a therapist, a teacher, a doctor, or a neighbor. Anyone can call CPS and make an accusation against you, even an ex-spouse who just wants to make your life miserable. They call the CPS hotline and it triggers an investigation for what’s called an evaluation out. The content that goes into the CPS line, sometimes, is closed up right after the accusation. Other times, it rises to the level of warranting an investigation. If it is enough, the referral that was called in gets sent to an investigating social worker, who is called an emergency response worker.
How Long Does It Take for CPS to Respond?
CPS has certain statutory timelines to go out to the home, find you, or talk to the kids, depending on the accusation. For example, allegations of sexual abuse have a shorter timeline for them to respond. Allegations of domestic violence have a bit longer timeline for them to respond. Basic accusations of neglect have a longer timeframe, meaning they don’t have to respond right away if the allegation is less serious. As far as what sort of evidence they use to file a case, they get the initial narrative from the investigation phone call, then they take that and start doing their investigation. They talk to the parents and they talk to the kids. Sometimes, they talk to the kids’ teachers. They start finding out a little more about this allegation.
If a neighbor calls CPS and says that they heard fighting next door and they’re really concerned about the kids, it would be an allegation. An emergency response worker would come out and ask the parents what’s going on. They would also run a background check on the house to see if the police have been to the house before and whether there have been any 911 phone calls. They would try to get the police report of the event that triggered the allegation or the call. They would see if there have been any prior arrests for crimes committed by anyone in the household and they would try to look at risk and safety factors in the home, and then they would go specifically to that allegation. What was that call about? What might have happened that day? They would be looking for a, hopefully, reasonable explanation for this neighbor’s phone call. Either way, there is no way you would ever find out who made the phone call or who sent the allegations into CPS. It is a completely protected source.