How to get a CPS case dismissed depends on your cooperation with the caseworker investigating the allegations put against you. Anyone can report you to child protective services (CPS) about abuse or neglect, and it will be your role to give CPS the required attention in seeking to have the CPS case closed.
This article will outline steps you can take to have your CPS dismissed, the factors that indicate child neglect or abuse, what to expect during a CPS investigation, what happens after your case closes, etc. This article is an excellent resource for someone falsely accused of neglect who wants to cooperate with CPS to ensure it dismisses their case ASAP!
Steps To Take To Have a Cps Dismissed
To have your CPS dismissed faster, you should highly cooperate with the caseworker or investigator. Specifically, you should do the following.
– Let the CPS Caseworker Into Your Home
The caseworker is among the people that help address your case and have it dismissed when possible. The caseworker may want to visit your home to ascertain the child’s home environment. They may also want to evaluate your family dynamics and determine if they support your child’s well-being.
Although it may look awkward at first to have the caseworker inspect your home, you can also request them to schedule a time that works best for you. Stay calm, be polite and never attempt to use abusive language.
– Provide the Requested Documents
The caseworkers are always eager to know whether you can provide a suitable living environment for the child that’s why they may ask for proof of employment, the child’s school, or medical records.
If you comply and provide these documents, there’s a higher chance of having the case terminated. This will happen if the caseworker establishes that you can provide for the child’s needs.
– Answer Questions
The caseworker may ask some questions to determine whether the case should continue or not. The questions will largely depend on the CPS report submitted to the relevant authorities. You should therefore be cooperative and provide as many accurate answers as possible.
For example, if the report concerns physical abuse, the caseworker may want to know whether you and your loved ones experienced any physical threats previously. The investigator may also want to see the behavior of those living with you or ask you different questions about:
- Your financial situation
- The work hours
- How much time do you spend away from your child
When answering these questions, ensure you don’t misstate facts or give answers that you’re unsure of.
– Adhere to the Signed Plan
If you’ve agreed to sign a plan with child protective services on how you’ll care for the child or improve their living environment, you need to comply with it. If you fail to comply 100%, CPS may believe you’re being uncooperative and therefore take additional legal actions. This, in turn, could hinder your CPS from being dismissed.
To avoid further issues, you should seek legal advice from your lawyer on how to comply with the plan and address any concerns.
Factors That Constitute Abuse or Neglect During CPS
CPS investigates every abuse report, no matter if it’s false or true. If someone makes false allegations against you, it’s wise to still comply with the CPS investigator to avoid further legal battles. The common factors that constitute abuse include:
- Restraining or isolating a child frequently.
- Hitting a child and inflicting physical injuries on them.
- Exposing children to drug abuse and domestic violence.
- Exposing a child to sexual content or sexually abusing them.
Cases of child neglect are more prevalent compared to abuse. A parent unwilling to provide for their child’s basic needs is considered neglectful. Other incidences of child abuse include:
- Failing to provide the child with adequate food, shelter, or clothing.
- Not allowing the child to attend school.
- Failing to seek the required medical care for the child.
- Leaving the child alone and unsupervised.
- Exposing the child to unsafe living conditions, including extreme temperatures, drugs, or harmful objects.
- Failing to provide adequate care for a child with special needs.
If allegations against you do not amount to neglect or abuse, the judge is more likely to dismiss the CPS cases. However, if CPS establishes that you’re facing financial challenges that led to abuse or neglect, you may receive some financial help. You should first confirm this with the caseworker assigned to you.
How Is a CPS Case Initiated?
CPS initiates the case once child abuse or neglect allegations are proven. CPS will first need to evaluate the report and determine if there’s a need for further investigation or not. The abuse or neglect report usually outlines issues to do with:
- The child’s situation
- The child’s home condition
- Nature of injuries, if any
- Information concerning other kids in the neighborhood
If the report outlines a matter of severe physical injury or sexual abuse, CPS will instantly forward the case to the police. Otherwise, the case will continue. In other scenarios, CPS may reject the abuse report and fail to initiate the case. This mostly happens if there’s no evidence of neglect, CPS had previously investigated the case, or the allegations have no basis.
Based on the report presented, CPS will kick off investigations once it substantiates abuse. These investigations may start:
- Within 24-48 hours, if there’s an immediate danger, or
- Within 30-90 days, when no immediate danger exists
It’s also mandatory for CPS to trace and notify the child’s parents concerning the ongoing investigations. Although CPS may conduct investigations within the time frames mentioned above, not all cases end in court.
However, CPS may still need the court’s approval to compel the child’s parents to cooperate, to have the alleged abuse removed from the home, or have the child moved instead.
What To Expect as a Parent or Guardian During CPS
During CPS, expect not to be informed about the person that reported the case. The main reason is to protect the reporter from possible harm or danger. As a parent or person providing foster care, it’s important to note that a caseworker may interview your child without your consent.
The caseworker has the legal authority to do this since it aids in their quest for information during the abuse or neglect investigation process. Something else expected from a parent or guardian during the investigation is their cooperation. To address the issues put forward in the child abuse report, CPS may ask you to:
- Attend parenting classes
- Take part in community service
- Perform drug tests
- Make some repairs to the home
The most important thing here is to show your cooperation to the caseworker so that you don’t aggravate the allegations against you. Lastly, as a parent or guardian, it’s required that you maintain respectful communication with the CPS investigator or caseworker.
Despite your innocence, any show of disrespect could lead to your prosecution in a court of law. You should therefore communicate clearly, truthfully, and carefully!
When Can CPS Go to Court?
If the caseworker establishes that the child is still in danger following your neglect or abuse, they consider it appropriate to forward the issue to the criminal justice system. They’ll have an attorney petition the case in court and seek the child’s removal from your home.
If you disagree with the decision, you’ll have an opportunity to appeal the court order. When abuse or neglect issues get to court, things might become tough on your side. Depending on the severity of the case, the judge may:
- Order the abusive parent to vacate the home
- Order child support
- Terminate your parental rights when deemed appropriate
- Appoint a guardian
- Dismiss the issue if there’s no substantial evidence of abuse
- Take the child out of your home
If you feel the abuse allegations against you by the court order are false, you can hire a family law attorney to represent your rights during the court hearing.
What Happens After a CPS Case Closes?
When the case closes, the investigator or caseworker will stop the investigations and not subject you to further surveillance. The authority will drop all the accusations against you after proving them false or unsubstantiated. The caseworker will also stop visiting your home or contacting you since you’ll have nothing further to answer.
If CPS never forwarded your case to the criminal justice system, you should not expect any court summons. The police will not arrest or subject you to further questioning. Lastly, when a CPS case closes, it doesn’t imply that the authority won’t revisit it in the future.
If another party files a case against you, CPS will have to revive your old CPS records and partake in further investigations. Therefore, it would be best if you took precautions for your case not to be re-opened in the future.
Anyone can forward a report to CPS citing child abuse or neglect allegations against you. However, if you feel that these allegations are false or do not amount to neglect or abuse, you should not revolt but cooperate with the caseworker assigned to you in a move to have the CPS dismissed faster. Through this article, you’ve learned that cooperation with CPS is important if you want your case dismissed, and in summary, we get to know that:
- You should let the caseworker into your home if, by chance, you want your CPS closed faster.
- Be honest and answer all the questions the investigator or caseworkers ask.
- If the caseworker requests vital documents such as proof of employment or your child’s school records, you should grant them access.
- Exposing a child to violence or drug abuse are some factors that constitute abuse.
- After a case closes, the investigator will stop further surveillance on you and forward the issue to the criminal justice system.
To uphold your parental rights when seeking to have your CPS dismissed, consider legal help from a good lawyer nearby.
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