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It is not unusual for parents to feel powerless, frustrated and terrified when a representative of Child Protective Services knocks on their door. That’s because they typically have no warning that a social worker or other government employee is going to be visiting them. Frequently, the CPS or DCFS worker is responding to an anonymous tip regarding child abuse or neglect. If you have been contacted by any city, county or state organization that works for the protection of children, then you need the assistance of an experienced California CPS attorney. The health and welfare of your children is at stake. Act quickly to prevent the government from removing them from your care.
Every CPS Visit Should Be Taken Seriously
No matter how outlandish you may think any allegations of child abuse or neglect may be take them seriously. Many Los Angeles area DCFS workers are completely convinced of the parents’ guilt before they even knock on the door. They may not say outright that they are there to remove your children, but rest assured that this is their intent. You cannot afford to laugh it off. Government social workers will do everything they can to remove your precious children from your home.
Demand to Know the Charges
Under state and federal law you have a right to know the charges that are being made against you. It isn’t enough for the DCFS social worker to simply tell you “abuse” or “neglect.” Instead, they should provide you with a detailed account of the accusations. They should even be able to tell you the identifying number or code of any law or ordinance you are accused of breaking. Be certain to record the statute or other identifying information so you can refer to it later. It makes sense to excuse yourself from the door for a moment to gather paper and pen so you can write down important information. Ask them to provide you with a business card so you can identify precisely who you are dealing with.
Don’t Let Them In Without a Warrant
It’s not unusual for a CPS worker to request to come into your home. You do not have to comply with this request unless the worker has a warrant or a court order. Some social workers have been known to be quite insistent about their need to be inside your home. Stand your ground. They do not have the right to enter unless the court has ordered it.
Do Not Speak With CPS or DCFS Workers
It’s natural for parents to vehemently protest when they are accused of abusing or neglecting their children. They are anxious to prove their innocence, and they certainly do not want to risk having their children removed from the home. Unfortunately, CPS workers are adept at twisting and misinterpreting everything parents say. Any declarations you make will be cast in the most negative light possible and could certainly come back to haunt you later. The less you say, the better off you are likely to be. All you need before contacting an attorney is the statute you are accused of violating and contact information for the department that is investigating you.
Contact a Los Angeles CPS Attorney
Now that you know that you are the subject of a CPS or DCFS investigation, you need skilled legal help. These government departments have significant power, and the workers are frequently highly motivated to remove children from their home to place them in foster care. In fact, many CPS workers seem to have a troubling “guilty until proven innocent” approach to doing their job. No matter how ridiculous or impossible the child abuse allegations are, they tend to believe them until the parents somehow prove them wrong.
Many parents feel that they should be able to defend themselves against the DCFS. It seems like their innocence should protect them. However, it is never wise to go up against these government agencies without a knowledgeable, aggressive attorney. Similarly, many parents hope to simply rely on a court-appointed public defender, but this is generally not a successful strategy. These attorneys are often severely overworked. They will only have a few moments to devote to your case. This puts the welfare of your children in serious jeopardy. You need an attorney who has the time, dedication and resources to fight California DCFS.
The attorneys at this firm have extensive experience dealing with the various CPS and DCFS offices throughout the Los Angeles metropolitan area. Our knowledge of the Juvenile Dependency Courts makes us the right choice when it comes to protecting the safety and integrity of your family. We take the time to understand your situation, and we make certain that your side of the story gets told in court.
Defending Families Against the Department of Children and Family Services
In Los Angeles County, the Department of Children and Family Services acts very quickly when allegations are made against parents. They may remove minors from the custody of their parents with surprising speed; then it is extremely difficult for the parents to get their children back. Don’t let this happen to your family. With the help of our seasoned California DCFS attorneys many families have been able to fight the government and win. Contact us today for an initial consultation. We’ll listen to your side of the story and do everything possible to keep your family together.