Covid19 has changed a lot of things. For one – there are way fewer calls coming in to CPS from mandated reporters, as there are considerably fewer opportunities for those people to interact with children and notice signs of what they suspect may be abuse or neglect. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t mandated reporters who still call CPS to report child abuse or neglect.
Many people still go to church, still take their kids to the doctor and the dentist, and many workers whose jobs can’t be performed from home still rely on daycares and learning centers to keep their kids safe during the day. So there are plenty of kids still interacting with people in the community. Which means plenty of calls coming in on the CPS abuse hotline.
But what happens when someone reports my child to CPS?
After CPS receives an all from someone who suspects a child may be the victim of abuse or neglect, a case is opened and it’s assigned to a CPS worker. But remember – in order for a case to be opened, it must meet three criteria first!
- The alleged victim must be under 18 years of age,
- The person accused of the alleged abuse must be an adult who is responsible for the welfare of that child – a parent, guardian, teacher, etc… and
- The alleged abuse or neglect must meet the state’s definition of abuse or neglect.
Only if these three criteria are met will CPS open a case, and assign a worker to investigate it. A number of allegations are rejected because they don’t meet these criteria. In some cases, the report is passed on to the police, or if the victim is older than 18, the Bureau of Adult and Child Licensing.
How does the CPS investigation process start?
That depends on what the allegations were in the first place. If the caller making the report claims that the children are chained in a basement and starving, the CPS worker will likely begin the investigation immediately, and will show up in person at the home in question, most likely accompanied by a police officer because if the claims are true, then children’s lives are at immediate risk.
If the allegations are not very serious, like a child getting slapped in the face by a parent where the neighbors could see it happen, the CPS worker assigned to that case may call the parents first, or visit the home a few days later.
What happens once CPS makes contact with your family?
Once the CPS worker reaches out, whether it’s in person or via a phone call or a letter, they will do an assessment to determine whether or not the allegation is warranted, what kind of risk the child is at (if any), and what the next steps should be.
Join us next time for a look at what CPS workers do when trying to assess the risk a child is at, and how they usually handle those situations. But if a CPS worker reaches out to you about an allegation of abuse DON’T WAIT! Call The Kronzek Firm immediately at 866 766 5245 and protect your family and your parenting rights. We have decades of experience battling CPS, and we can help!