Receiving a call or visit from CPS or DFCS can be scary, but it doesn't have to be so. Even if you know you have done nothing wrong there can be repercussions to any interaction with them. However, you have rights regarding them and you may not even realize what these rights are. For example, you do not have to let them into your home if they do not have a warrant. However, not permitting them to come in could make things worse. Your safest course of action is to let them in and then contact a lawyer. Hopefully, the lawyer will be able to send someone to your home immediately. Here are just a few ways having legal representation can help.
Get the Whole Reason for the Contact
You have the right to know exactly why CPS has contacted you. Often, when you are there alone, the case worker will try to skirt around the entire issue at hand. They want to see how you act and respond, and to take a look around your home. Even though you make ask what the visit is about, the worker will give some generic answer such as "It has been reported that the children are being abused or neglected." This does not tell you what kind of abuse or neglect, or who is supposedly causing the problem. An experienced lawyer will question the worker until all the details are explained. This could be telling you that there is a suspicion that the children are not eating properly, are left alone frequently, or have suspicious bruises.
Speak for You
Trying to explain a situation in your own words can sometimes backfire on you. Once the lawyer has determined the exact reason for the visit he or she will take you into a different room to discuss the situation with you. When they have the entire story from you, they can explain things to the worker. There are many things that can happen that are innocent but may be misunderstood by a caseworker.
Be with the Child During an Interview
Having a lawyer present during any interview with your child can prevent the caseworker from twisting what is being said or leading the child to say things that are not entirely true. The lawyer will also make sure that the entire interview is taped so nothing can be misinterpreted or assumed.
You want to keep your family together and limit the amount of time you have to deal with CPS. The more visits and phone calls you have with them the bigger the chance they can find something to charge you with. Remember, any time you deal with these agencies it can end up with criminal charges against you. Having a lawyer, like one from Caldwell Kennedy & Porter, always presents reduces this risk and gets the case closed much sooner.Share
11 May 2017
When my husband filed for divorce a few years ago, I knew that I didn't want to endure a legal battle on my own. I interviewed several different attorneys until I found one that I really liked, and then I really gave my case my all. I had long talks with my lawyer about everything from financial problems to the way that we organized our schedule, and she was able to create a rock-solid case from my statements. This website is all about the importance of communicating effectively with your attorney by making the right decisions. Check out these posts about lawyers so that you are better prepared for your next case.