CPS may be conducting an investigation into a referral before they ever contact you.
Often, the only way you will know if you are the focus of a CPS/DFS (Child Protective Services/Department of Family Services) investigation is by an unannounced visit or a phone call from a social worker. You must take whatever measures appropriate to contact a CPS attorney IMMEDIATELY. The very first steps that you take in dealing with social services is CRITICAL.
In California, CPS agencies have special hotlines set up to receive reports of child abuse, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The callers are allowed to remain anonymous. These callers do not need to provide evidence of abuse — an accusation that is deemed credible by a phone worker is usually enough to trigger a response by CPS.
Once a referral begins, it is classified in one of several ways:
- No response (not enough information, or fails to rise to the level of CPS’ interest- Evaluated Out)
- Immediate (emergency, children in danger)
- 3 day response
- 5 day response
- 10 day response
- 30 day response
A CPS social worker generally has up to 30 days to complete an investigative referral, before either escalating it to a case status, or closing it out as unfounded.
If you are contacted by a social worker either asking to come into your home or to meet, it is your RIGHT to have an attorney present to help answer questions and to advise you on your rights. The Law Offices of Johnson & Johnson have over 25 years of experience with CPS cases, and helping parents fight for their rights.
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