Virtually anyone can report you to Child Protective Services (hereinafter referred to as “CPS”) or the Administration for Children’s Services (hereinafter referred to as “ACS”). This will trigger an investigator either coming to your house or contacting you on the phone. When they initially contact you, they will advise you they need to speak to you and they want the child who was the subject of the report present. When they arrive at the house they will tell you they want to come into your house. You have no legal obligation to allow them into your house. You can tell them you will not be allowing them entry into the house without a warrant. Unfortunately, if you do this, generally they will go to court, present a one sided presentation, and a judge will sign and issue a warrant to allow them into your house to see if it is “safe”. You can advise the CPS or ACS investigator you do not wish to speak to them until you have had a chance to consult with an attorney with regard to this matter. They may be persistent, but if you tell them you are not going to speak to them until you speak with counsel, they will eventually go away.
Speak to the Other Children
If you let the CPS or ACS worker come into your house they will speak with your child, and then do a body scan to make sure there are no bruises or signs of abuse or neglect. They will then ask you “can I speak to your other children?” If no probable cause has been established the child they are investigating has been abused or neglected, there is no reason for them to speak to your other children. There is no probable cause to investigate your family situation concerning the other children. You can at that point say, NO. You have no probable cause or reason to speak to my other children. There has been no establishment of child abuse or child neglect here and I am not going to allow you to speak to my other children. At that point in time, you can also ask the investigator for a copy of all the allegations made with regard to the case. My experience is they will usually not provide you with this information at this time.
Body Check of Your Children
You do not have to allow a CPS or ACS worker to do a body check of your child to ascertain whether he or she has been abused physically. Instead you can take your child to your pediatrician or other treating physician and have them write a letter to CPS stating after an examination of your child he or she found the child not to have been abused or neglected.
It is suggested you do not speak to CPS or ACS investigators. Should they want information concerning you, you should advise them to contact your attorney.