The answer is yes. And no. (Confusing, right?) If an allegation is made about a child being abused or neglected, CPS is required to investigate the claim. However, there’s a little more to it than that. Sometimes an investigation amounts to nothing, and there are usually reasons for that. Sometimes the claim obviously doesn’t warrant follow through, and so they don’t pursue it. So we thought we’d take a look at some of the situations where CPS investigations sometimes don’t become big deals, and share them with you.
They have to reach out – but not always to you!
If a CPS worker gets a referral for a case, they have to respond to it, but that doesn’t always mean they’re going to call you as the parent or caregiver. They may choose to reach out to the person who made the allegations and get more details. This is often the case if on the surface it seems like there’s likely no real issue.
For example, let’s say a child is being reported as being left alone at home on a regular basis. If the child is 5 years old, they’ll probably be knocking on your door in a couple of days. If the child is 15 they’ll probably reach out to the person who made the claims and find out if there are any other factors that might make this a true case of neglect. Does the child have mental or emotional issues that make them vulnerable? Do they have a physical handicap that puts them at risk when they’re alone? If not, the case probably won’t be pursued.
Sometimes they talk to your kids and not to you!
This is a very scary one for most parents, but CPS can come to your child’s school and talk to your kid without your permission. It’s admittedly not the route they usually take, but it can and does happen. What does it involve? A worker will come to your child’s school, show up at the principal’s office and insist that your child be taken out of class and brought to a private office where the CPS worker will talk to them without anyone else present.
If CPS thinks there might be some credence to the allegations, they might sometimes check in with your kid before approaching you. Sometimes this actually helps them determine that the claim was false and there’s nothing to worry about (although they’re known for making mountains out of molehills, so don’t expect that to be the case!) But if they determine that there’s no cause for concern, you may not ever talk to them yourself. They might close the case before ever approaching you about it.
CPS looks into every allegation, and often gets it wrong!
In reality, a Michigan CPS workers’ job is to make sure that children in Michigan are safe. How do they do this? By investigating every single situation they encounter where abuse or neglect is possible. It’s a hard job, and one that we can only imagine is very stressful. But that doesn’t explain why CPS workers so often get it wrong. So if you or a loved one have been contacted by CPS, or your child tells you that someone from CPS talked to them at school, school, call us immediately at 866 766 5245. Our skilled CPS defense attorneys have decades of experience defending families and protecting parental rights. Don’t let a CPS mistake cost you your family. And be sure to join us next time for a few more facts on CPS investigations!