5 Things to Do If CPS Knocks on Your Door

man knocking on door

Few experiences in life are as intimidating or as stressful as receiving a visit from Child Protective Services (CPS). In many cases, parents are surprised to see CPS at their doorstep and have no idea why they are there. It’s important to be prepared in the event that a CPS worker does show up at your home and insists on entering the house or removing your child.

Follow These Steps If CPS Pays You a Visit

Though we hope you will never need to implement these tips, here are five important steps you should take if a CPS worker rings your doorbell.

1. Be polite and take the situation seriously

CPS workers may have a badge, but they are not law enforcement. They do not have the right to enter your home or interrogate you. You still have a right to remain silent. Arguing, getting defensive, or getting angry with the CPS worker may escalate their suspicion surrounding whatever child abuse or neglect allegations are they are investigating. Seeing CPS officials on your doorstep is undoubtedly scary, but try to remain as calm as possible. Be polite but firm and don’t provide too much information.

2. Refrain from talking until you have an attorney

If the CPS worker has shown up unannounced, you may find yourself caught off guard and unprepared for the situation. Remember not to talk too much or give away too much information – anything you say can and will be used against you. Let the CPS worker know that you will be hiring an attorney before moving forward or speaking further.

3. Refuse entry unless they have a proper warrant

CPS will say they have to come into your home or you could lose your kids. They try to scare you into thinking you have to let them in, but unless they have a warrant, you have the right to say no. In general, you should never let a CPS worker into your home unless they are accompanied with a law enforcement official and you are positive they have a court order or warrant with your accurate name and address. Without a warrant, if you allow law enforcement or CPS into your home waives the protections afforded to you by the Fourth Amendment. Ask to see the physical copy of the warrant, as some CPS workers may lie about having one. You can politely say that once you speak with your attorney you can arrange for them to see the home if your attorney approves. Then immediately hire counsel to advise on your next steps.

4. Record and document everything

In Texas, CPS workers are required to record any interrogation they have of your child, but they are not required to share the recording with you. Our general advice is to never speak to CPS without an attorney present, but if you do, be sure to make your own recording on your cell phone or a secondary recording device. Having a recording of what CPS says to you is the best way to catch them in a lie or breaking their own policies and rules. This can ultimately help lead you to win your case.

5. Know what to do if your children are removed

If CPS enters your home with a warrant, they may be able to remove your children from your home right then and there. Be prepared with a list of emergency contacts, such as friends and family members, who might be willing to take your children in the meantime. CPS is required to prioritize placing the children with family over strangers in foster care. Of course, you’ll want to call an attorney as soon as possible if your children are taken from you.

Call Camille Borg Law, PLLC.

If you’ve just been visited by CPS or you are in the midst of an official CPS investigation, you need to retain legal representation as soon as possible. Camille Borg Law, PLLC is here to defend you in your time of need and guide you forward.

Contact our family law firm at (469) 646-7763 to schedule a consultation.

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