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Does CPS Investigate Every Abuse or Neglect Claim Made? (Pt 1)

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CPS assumes that every report made will reveal a child abuser or a monster, not an innocent parent who needs help, or is misunderstood.

This is something we’ve been asked many times over the years – do they look into every allegation made against someone when it comes to a kid? And unfortunately, the answer isn’t as straightforward as you’d think. So we thought we’d spend a few minutes explaining what the average CPS worker looks for in a call, if they believe the allegation meets the requirements, and what the investigation (if any) involves.

When the call comes in…

Someone calls CPS and makes a report. They’re concerned about the kid who lives down the road, or who goes to school with their own child, or maybe even the son or daughter of a family friend. Either way, they reach out and explain what they’ve seen, or what they suspect, and a CPS worker talks them through the process, asking questions to get as much detail as possible.

By law, CPS has 30 days to complete an investigation (unless extenuating circumstances require an extension.) A CPS investigation must begin within 24 hours of receiving the initial report. So if someone calls, does this call initiate an immediate investigation? Maybe, and maybe not. There are a few factors that CPS considers when deciding if a child is at risk.

Here are the most common factors:

The age of the child:

CPS generally only investigates children under the age of 18. So if the child being reported as a possible victim is 18 or older, CPS isn’t likely to look into the allegations.

The identity and location of the child:

In order to consider an investigation, CPS needs to be able to properly identify the child, and also to find them. Children who live in very rural settings, or whose possible abuse is reported by someone who can’t identify where they live or how to find them, may not be able to be investigated.

Whether or not CPS has jurisdiction:

CPS can only investigate an allegation if it’s within their jurisdiction. The abuse has to have happened in Michigan, or the abused child must now reside in Michigan for CPS to pursue the allegation.

What are the allegations:

If the allegations are for something that doesn’t count as abuse or neglect in Michigan, like a parent who spanks their child, or a child who isn’t given snacks between meals but has enough to eat, then CPS is likely to pass on investigating the claim.

Don’t let a CPS investigation rob you of your peace of mind!

Join us next time for a look at what the investigation involves, and how you can do everything possible to protect yourself during a CPS investigation. Until then, if CPS reaches out to you for any reason, call the experienced CPS defense attorneys at The Kronzek Firm at 866 766 5245. We’ve spent decades defending parents against false allegations and invasive CPS tactics. We’re here 24/7 to help you protect what matters most.

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