Thanks for joining us again as we unpack the controversial topic of the Michigan Central Registry. If you have just stumbled on this series, you may find it more informative to go back and read the few articles before this. If you’ve been with us from the start, you’ll know that we’ve discussed what the registry is, what information it contains, and how to get your name removed from it. Moving forward we will be looking at how CPS categorizes abuse and neglect cases, and what that means for families.
As you remember from the last article, we mentioned that CPS has a detailed system into which they divide all forms of abuses and neglect, in order to determine what responses are required for each situation. So what does that mean? Well, it means that, much like sex offenses are divided into ‘tiers’ on the sex offender registry, forms of child abuse and neglect are divided into categories based on the severity of the situation.
CPS abuse and neglect categories look like this:
CPS investigated a claim of abuse or neglect, but did not find any evidence to substantiate the claim. The allegations will be listed as “unfounded” and the case will be closed.
This is the lowest category from a severity standpoint. It means that some evidence was found to suggest that there may have been child abuse or neglect, and the child might be at risk of harm in the future. In this case, the family will be asked to cooperate with CPS and participate in community services to make sure the child stays safe.
This category means that CPS workers claim that there is evidence of abuse or neglect, and that they believe that there is a chance of possible harm in the future. The family in this situation will be required to participate with DHHS to ensure that the child stays safe. In this case, if the family doesn’t cooperate, the agency may increase the level to a category 2.
In this case, CPS agents believe that they have uncovered significant evidence of abuse or neglect of a child, and that the child is at significant risk of being harmed. At this point CPS will open an investigation and will provide services to the family and the child. Anyone who is believed to have committed a category 2 level offense will have their name placed on the Central Registry. In the event that the family refuses to cooperate with CPS, the category ranking will be changed to a category 1.
This category is reserved for the most severe forms of abuse and neglect. At this level CPS agents believe that the child is in danger, and they will petition the court to remove the child from the home. Also, the parent or caregivers involved will have their name placed on the registry. In severe cases, CPS agents will seek to have the parental rights terminated.
As you can imagine, while any form of CPS involvement or government oversight in how you parent is frustrating, for parents accused of category 1 and 2 offenses, the strain is awful. Which is where an aggressive attorney is invaluable! The CPS defense attorneys at The Kronzek Firm have decades of experience fighting CPS. We are familiar with their tactics and are not afraid to go toe-to-toe with them, both in and out of court.
Join us next time, when we will be looking at exactly what services CPS provides to families, and what happens when the court gets involved. Until then, if you or a loved one have been accused of abusing or neglecting a child, contact us immediately at 866-346-5879. These cases are very serious and the sooner you have a good attorney on board, the sooner your defense can begin!