CPS Safety Plan Violation: What Is the Penalty Associated?

Photo of author

By Divorce & Finance

CPS safety plan violation may have serious consequences, which could lead up to the removal of your child from your custody. It could also land you in a police station or a court from time to time.

Cps safety plan violation

Thus, read this article to avoid such a situation and make legally informed decisions.

What Are the Consequences of Violating a CPS Safety Plan? 

The consequences of violating a CPS safety plan include risking losing your parental rights. The law gives CPS a wide range of justifications for removing your parental rights. One of those excuses is a safety plan’s terms not being followed. 

Again, if you are having trouble meeting a requirement of your service plan, you must voice your concerns as soon as possible to CPS, your lawyer, and, if necessary, the judge. Once your parental right is terminated, there is no turning back.

While thinking about what happens if you break a cps safety plan, remember that you must abide by the terms of the service plan you signed, whether you agree with it entirely or in part. Simply put, it is still your service plan, and by signing it, you agree to adhere to all of its terms until they are modified by a judge or by an understanding between you and child protective services

Expecting CPS to remind you to attend a meeting or counseling session is unrealistic. Failure to adhere to a protective services plan can represent significant evidence at different stages of a case, even though its terms are not legally binding.

Although it is not a justification for removal, violating a safety plan may help demonstrate an immediate threat to a child’s physical safety or health.

– Is It Important To Follow the CPS Safety Plan? 

It is important to follow the CPS safety plan. When allegations of abuse are made, and it is necessary to protect a child in a home, a safety plan is typically provided to the family, and it is necessary to follow if it is signed.

If the family does not “agree” to the safety plan, the agency will frequently threaten to place the children in foster care. It has been determined by the Federal Court decisions that forcing a family to “agree” to a plan by threatening to place their children in foster care constitutes coercion and entitles the family to a due process hearing.

Is it important to follow the cps safety plan

Prior to the decisions of the Federal Court, the County’s practice was to force families to sign a safety plan and then deny the family any opportunity to challenge the safety plan in court. Following the rulings by the Federal Court, county agencies now seem to be attempting to provide families with some due process. 

No court has addressed the constitutionality of the due process, if any, provided to families by these County agencies.

What Is the Legally Binding Nature of a CPS Safety Plan? 

The legally binding nature of a CPS safety plan implies that it is actually not legally binding if your family is looking after a child who was placed as part of a safety plan. Custody and placement changes can be made with a judge’s approval through a court order.

So is a Cps safety plan legally binding? It is if you have agreed to it and signed it. When it comes to a CPS safety plan, Virginia residents should know that the same applies to this state.

– Can CPS Enforce a Safety Plan?

CPS can enforce a safety plan by filing a petition in Family Court, asking the judge to order the child removed from the parents’ care and custody and placed with the other parent, family member, friend, or foster care, as the case may be.

Thus, if a parent refuses to follow the caseworker’s plan, then CPS can have the children stay with someone else. Additionally, if a court application is made, the Local Authority may rely on the plan and agreement and present these as supporting documentation.

The Local Authority may use a breach of a plan or agreement as proof that you are not cooperating honestly with professionals and are not making the necessary adjustments to provide adequate care for your children.

As an alternative, if you agree to the safety plan and sign it, this can be used in court to demonstrate that you are cooperating with experts and making the necessary adjustments to care for your children safely.

Is Signing a CPS Safety Plan Necessary?

Signing a CPS safety plan is not necessary as safety plans and written agreements are not required to be signed and cannot be sued for breach of contract if broken. You cannot be forced to sign a safety plan if you don’t want to. 

This answers the question: “Do I need to sign a cps safety plan?”

– What Considerations to Keep In Mind When Signing a Safety Plan?

The considerations to keep in mind while signing a safety plan is that you should never sign a Safety Plan before having a chance to speak with a lawyer. Thus, it is advised you carefully read the service plan before signing it if child protective services request your signature.

Although it’s not always true, the caseworker working on your case doesn’t know you or your child nearly as well as you do, so it’s possible that they could smuggle language against your best interests into the plan.

There may therefore be parts of their plan that are inappropriate for you or your child. Tell that to the child protective services employee. The language that can be inserted might be modified in a way that benefits all parties more. The worst possible action is to sign a service plan without having read it first. 

What considerations to keep in mind when signing a safety plan

Parts of the plan might be beyond your capacity to carry out for a variety of reasons. Avoid putting yourself in a situation where you risk losing your child’s rights because you didn’t finish all the steps in your safety plan. It may be necessary to repeatedly communicate with CPS about your work schedules, personal obligations, and other significant circumstances to get your point across.

It is not sufficient to sign the plan on the CPS worker’s word that “something can be worked out.” To complete the parenting class that CPS had in mind, you should find an alternative parenting class to attend or a combination of other courses to enroll in. The bottom line is that there are frequently numerous ways to proceed in a CPS case, but if you speak up for yourself, your options will be unrestricted.

Can an Attorney Help if You Violated Your Cps Safety Plan? 

An attorney can help if you violated your CPS safety plan, as they’ll guide you through your situation and analyze your possibilities. If you don’t agree with the safety plan anymore or were coerced into signing it, an attorney can help you salvage some rights from the agreement.

As soon as you learn that CPS is looking into you and your family in connection with claims of child abuse or neglect, you should try to hire a lawyer to represent you. The best person to give you legal counsel that is personalized to your situation will be your attorney.

It is also advised that you shouldn’t retain just any attorney to represent you in a CPS case. Clients should look to family law attorneys with experience handling CPS cases for representation.


1. How to Get Out of a CPS Safety Plan You Don’t Agree With?

To get out of a safety plan you don’t agree with, you should discuss your concerns with a social worker. Your local council may ask the court for a care order if the people who created the plan believe it is insufficient to keep your child safe.

Your child might be placed in foster care if they receive a care order. You may want to get out of a safety plan if you believe that:

  • Your child doesn’t need one;
  • It shouldn’t cover the things that it does;
  • It doesn’t include the services that your family needs.

After speaking with a social worker, if your situation isn’t resolved, you should seek specialized legal counsel. Before you agree to anything, you should get legal counsel, even if your case hasn’t yet been litigated.

2. What Are the Reasons Behind the Expiration of a CPS Safety Plan?

The reasons behind the expiration of a CPS safety plan include the agency determining that your kid is not in danger anymore, they have turned 18, or have moved overseas. When a safety plan expires, you are no longer bound by it, or the CPS worker cannot enforce it.

This answers the question: “Do cps safety plans expire?” One of the following events marks the end of the child protection plan:

  • The individuals responsible for the plan determine that your child is no longer in pain or in significant danger.
  • Your child turns 18 years old.
  • Your child travels overseas.

Find out from CPS when the Safety Plan expires. If there is no expiration date specified, you run the risk of having your kids taken away permanently. Always try to have a lawyer review the Safety Plan before you sign it and also ask: “What happens when safety plan expires?” in your case beforehand. 


The goal of the plan is to give parents time to address problems that CPS claims led to unsafe conditions, so they can care for their children “safely and sustainably” without being overly invasive. Further, we conclude the following:

  • Although a parent is not required to sign the safety plan, they may be temporarily removed if they refuse to follow it.
  • Safety plans and written agreements are not legally binding documents.
  • You should read the Safety Plan carefully before signing it, as it requires you to agree to a number of terms.
  • You must cooperate with your caseworker and follow the guidelines of the safety plan. If you violate the plan, the social worker can take the children away from your home.
  • The guidance of an experienced lawyer could help you in making decisions regarding safety plans.

Now we hope that, before signing a safety plan, you will consult an attorney if you have questions about it or don’t agree with it. Thus, consult with a knowledgeable child welfare lawyer to ensure the plan is necessary and reasonable, as you have to adhere to it after signing it.


  1. Child Welfare Information Gateway. (n.d.). [Title of the document]. https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubPDFs/cps_46.pdf
  2. Child Care. (n.d.). Child protective services. https://childcare.gov/consumer-education/child-protective-services
  3. Child Welfare Information Gateway. (n.d.). Safety planning in child protection. https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/responding/child-protection/safety-planning-in-child-protection/
  4. Child and Family Services Agency. (n.d.). [Title of the document]. https://cfsa.dc.gov/sites/default/files/dc/sites/cfsa/publication/attachments/Investigations-POM.pdf
  5. Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. (n.d.). [Title of the document]. https://dhhs.michigan.gov/olmweb/ex/PS/Public/PSM/713-01.pdf
  6. Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. (n.d.). Safety planning. https://emanuals.jfs.ohio.gov/FamChild/CPSWM/Policy/Safety-Planning.stm
  7. Wisconsin Department of Children and Families. (n.d.). [Title of the document]. https://dcf.wisconsin.gov/files/cwportal/policy/pdf/safety-intervention-standards.pdf
  8. North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. (n.d.). [Title of the document]. https://policies.ncdhhs.gov/divisional/social-services/child-welfare/policy-manuals/modified-manual-1/assessments.pdf

5/5 - (5 votes)
Divorce & Finance