All Michigan parents know the difficulties faced when getting your child out the door in the morning to go to school. Every parent knows that early bedtimes when the kids are sick can take forever. Every mom and dad has struggled to make it to soccer practice on time.
Imagine being in one of these stressful but daily situations and all of a sudden, you get an unfriendly knock on your door. Yes, that does happen every day, seven days a week and seven nights a week, holidays included all over Michigan. Whether you live in Oakland County, Kent County, Lansing or Sanilac, those knocks can be terrifying.
You answer the knock, and it is a CPS worker. You are absolutely shocked to see Childrens Protective Services there. There are five main things to avoid when you are faced with the reality of CPS unexpectedly knocking on your door here in Michigan. Most often, they will ask to come into your home explaining that they are required to see your home, speak to your children and interview you.
Understand that their requirements are not your requirements. Their employer, CPS, has a policy and a procedure for their workers. CPS policy is not Michigan law. You have options and you should choose them wisely.
Begin by speaking to the CPS worker outside of your home. The front porch is fine. You are not required to allow CPS to enter your home unless they are accompanied by a police officer that orders you to do so or if there is a warrant. If so, be cooperative but do not give any statement to the police or CPS. Be polite and never be aggressive. Treat the CPS worker exactly like you would treat a police officer. Hostility is not going to get you anywhere. However, you can explain to the worker that you will continue your conversation with them after you hire an attorney. Request their business card and tell them that you or your attorney will contact them back in the next couple of business days to set up the next meeting or discussion. Then, hire an experienced CPS defense attorney. You can reach our CPS team by calling 800-576-6035.
- Don’t forget to take notes
While you will certainly be emotional if a CPS worker is asking to come into your home, don’t forget to take notes. If you take notes about what the CPS worker is saying and doing, it may help you later on. Always politely ask CPS for a business card for each worker that is present. If a police officer is also present, request that officer’s business card too.
You can politely ask some of the following questions to the CPS worker:
- May I please see your identification badge?
This question not only protects you and your kids from someone pretending to be a CPS worker, but it also shows that you put your kids’s safety first! This can look really good for you if the CPS worker is questioning your fitness as a parent. Recording this person’s name and identification numbers can be helpful later on.
- What allegations have been made against me?
Establishing why exactly a CPS worker is at your door can help you to better understand the situation. While you won’t agree with these allegations, it is important to remain calm. The less said, the better. It is highly unlikely that the CPS worker will tell you all the reasons they are at your house, but your attorneys will learn more information down the line. CPS is not permitted to tell you who filed a CPS report against you.
- Please tell me if you have a warrant to search my home and speak with my kids.
Understanding the breadth of a CPS worker’s ability to intrude on your privacy will best position you to defend yourself at a later time. If the CPS worker doesn’t have a warrant to talk to your kids, you don’t have to let them. Ask to see the warrant and make sure a judge actually ordered it. If there is no warrant, don’t let them in. However, if there is a warrant issued by a Michigan judge, a police officer will also be present. Never resist a police officer. That will not end well for you. Leave the fighting to your attorneys.
2. Don’t let them in without a warrant
If the CPS worker doesn’t have a warrant, you don’t have to let them in your home. In fact, in most cases, it is best that you don’t let them in without a warrant.
A CPS worker may try to weasel their way into your home by using different tactics. However, the simple rule is: no warrant, no entry. Explain that you will have an attorney get back to them within a couple of business days. Don’t feel bullied or intimidated by CPS. Stand your ground and hire a CPS defense attorney before doing anything more.
3. Panicking won’t help anything! Be calm, confident, and quiet!
It is important to take a CPS visit to your home very seriously. Yet, defending yourself too much or being too argumentative can hurt you later on. It is normal to feel angry, scared, worried, annoyed, frustrated, or overwhelmed. The best things you can be are calm, confident, and quiet. Know that the less said, the better. Shut up and lawyer up.
A lot of parents find that they are falsely accused of hurting their children by a mandatory reporter at their child’s school or doctor’s office.
If CPS has recently come to your home and you are worried about what to do next, contacting a skilled CPS defense attorney can mean the difference between regular CPS visits or the closure of a case. Since the last century, our attorneys have been helping parents deal with CPS. We can be reached at 800-576-6035.
If you are being falsely accused by CPS, call The Kronzek Firm!
Michigan families are no strangers to Michigan’s flawed CPS system. The Kronzek Firm is here to help! There is nothing more important than protecting your kids and we are here to fight for you and your family. We provide consultations 24/7 by calling 800-576-6035. We’ve successfully helped thousands of parents over the decades. We can help you too. Call us today!