CPS workers do a very hard job. They are tasked with protecting children from abusive situations, which is highly stressful and often emotionally taxing. Like police officers, they see the worst case scenarios on a regular basis, and have little chance to see the good. And so, over time, they often get jaded. They begin to assume that every parent is a possible abuser, a likely molester, a probable “bad guy”. And they react accordingly.
It is important to remember, when a CPS worker shows up on your doorstep and asks to be let into your home, they aren’t going to come in, guns blazing. They are sometimes polite, professional and perfectly reasonable sounding. Which is why so many people open the door and welcome them in. After all, how much damage could this nice lady in sensible shoes, or the smiling man in a slightly outdated tie possibly do? As it turns out, a lot!
CPS workers may tell you they’re there to help, but it’s not you they’re helping…
Over the years, many people have been accused of terrible crimes against children. Later on, many of them are acquitted because there was little or no evidence to support the claim. But while lack of evidence may work in a criminal court, it has never stopped CPS from filing an abuse/neglect petition against that same person who was just declared not guilty by a court of law. Why? Because the standard of evidence in a CPS petition case is very different from a criminal case, and so it is considerably easier for the state to take away your children than to convict you of a crime against a child.
Under state law, CPS has very different regulations about what constitutes “evidence” against a parent, and how they can go about collecting it. Which is why police are often very happy to step back and allow CPS to take over an investigation into a possible abuse situation. It’s a win-win for them – they have one less case to work on, and the situation can now be handled by someone who isn’t bound by the same legal constraints when it comes to collecting evidence.
CPS workers are not held to the same evidence standards as police officers….
For example, a CPS worker is not required to Mirandize a person before speaking to them and eliciting a confession. Additionally, the constitutional rights that protect people from things like illegal search and seizure, also do not apply to CPS. Another factor to consider is that CPS is not required to have a court order to remove a child from their home. They only have to claim that the child’s surroundings “are such as to endanger his or her health, morals, or welfare . . .” MCL 712A.14(1).
In essence, what we’re saying here is that you need to be careful! Regardless of how pleasant, understanding or compassionate a CPS worker may seem when they are standing on your doorstep, or sitting on your couch drinking coffee, they are not your friend! They are not there to help you. They are not there to have a friendly chat about what’s best for your children. What they are is unsafe, unregulated, and unfettered by legal restraints.
So be careful! And remember – always call your lawyer first!
We cannot stress this enough – do not speak to a CPS worker without your attorney present! Do not agree to anything, admit to anything, try to explain anything, or allow them into your home. Be polite and firm in your refusal to deal with them, then get on the phone immediately and call us at 866 766 5245. This is an emergency and you have to act quickly. We are tough, fearless and hard working advocates for your family. And unlike CPS, we are your friends!