Now is the right time to hire an attorney, if CPS is investigating you. If you get that card in your door, letter in your mail, or phone call from a social worker, you are being investigated. The very first step you take should be hiring an attorney. And not just any attorney. You have to hire an attorney who practices dependency law. It is a very special area of the law and a very special way of thinking. Knowing what to do in the very beginning will make a huge difference in what happens later.
If you hire an attorney who knows what they are doing in dependency law, the attorney can immediately educate you, prepare you, and explain to you what the social worker is doing, what their job is, what their view of the world is, and which risks and safety issues they are trying to dispel. Your attorney can keep you out of court and tell you what you can do to best set yourself up for that first conversation with a social worker. It’s imperative that you understand and have a lengthy consultation with a dependency attorney so that when that social worker receives you in their office, you are addressing the concerns that they have in a way that makes sense to them.
If you treat a CPS case like a criminal case, you are going to fail the personality test with the social worker. If you go into it understanding what the social worker’s job is, what their directive is, and what they are looking for to make sure the household is safe, you can come into that meeting with the social worker and walk out with them satisfied that you are doing the things that they think need to be done. You are able to dispel the concerns that they had by basically telling them the facts and they can come to the conclusion that whoever made this call to the CPS is completely unfounded. There is no need for CPS to come into the family’s life. If you don’t address CPS in the very beginning, you will not be able to address the social worker’s concerns. They can file a petition in court and you will end up in dependency court; a place you don’t want to be. Hiring an attorney at the very beginning is absolutely critical.