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
Arguing or getting angry with the CPS worker can only hinder your case. 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. Refuse entry unless they have a proper warrant
You should never let a CPS worker into your home until you are positive they have a court order or warrant. Letting the official 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.
3. Record and document everything
In Texas, CPS workers are required to record any interrogation they have of your child, so be sure those tapes are rolling. You may also benefit from recording the situation on your own tape recorder or cell phone.
4. Refrain from talking and request an attorney
If the CPS worker has shown up unannounced, you’ll be 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 would like to consult with an attorney before moving forward or speaking further.
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. 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.