Teach your children about CPS
Teach your children about CPS and how to answer them. Tell them to say “I do not want to talk to you.” Have them keep repeating it for every question they are asked. Their answers will seal their fate if they do not refuse to answer.
They will record the conversation. They will ask your 5 year old if he minds if they record him. They will even advise him to say “Yes”. Talk to your children and teach them to say “NO!” when they are asked to be recorded.
They will then start asking them some “softball” questions like “Who is your favorite teacher? or “What is your favorite color? After that they will move on to the “hardball” questions like “How often does your daddy make you touch his penis? Or “How often do your parents hit you?” Always assume that the investigator will talk to your children before they talk to you. It will probably be at their school.
When the CPS caseworker knocks on your door and asks to come in, say “NO, but I will talk to you right here.” (When you invite them in is when you lose your rights.)
Ask WHAT SPECIFICALLY are you accused of
Most of the time, the caseworker wants to keep you in the dark as to what you have been accused of. They are required by federal and state law to tell you the details of the accusation at your first contact. Don’t settle for the answer of “abuse” or “neglect.” or even “Family Discord”. Those are categories, not details. You are entitled to know what specific actions you are accused of committing. Such as… The neighbor say you slap your child.
The accusation IS the evidence against you
The stance the caseworker is taking is that you are guilty until you can prove innocence. The accusation IS the evidence against you. That caseworker is there to find evidence to support what she already believes to be true – that you abused your child.
But you do NOT want to try to prove your innocence to them at the door. You WILL be sorry you ever said anything. It is only natural that you would want to defend your innocence so that they can see that there is no problem here.
If you can afford to hire a family court attorney, tell them “I have nothing to talk to you about. You can talk to my attorney.” They will probably ask you their name. If you have one, tell them their name. If you do not have one, tell them you will be seeking out legal counsel and would rather they talk to them. Get their card and then close the door and do not let then into your home. (I hope you DO get some legal counsel, because that interrogator might come back with reinforcement.) You will want to hire an attorney that is experienced in FIGHTING CPS. Most attorneys believe that their job is to make sure that their clients do everything CPS asks of them. If This goes to court you can best bet that the state appointed attorneys are NOT going to work very hard to stop CPS.
If you say nothing to them, you have taken away their greatest weapon, which is their ability to twist your words.
They MUST have a warrant to take a child (unless your child is in immediate or imminent danger.)
In order for then to enter your home, they must have a warrant. If they are there because of an anonymous report, then they have nothing. They will have to get a warrant or court order to enter. To do this requires a lot of work on their part.
Ask to SEE the warrant or order. Many CPS worker will LIE and say that they have one but they don’t. When she doesn’t have one, politely but firmly tell her that she will have to stay outside until she gets one. If she claims it’s an emergency, make her tell you what it is. Call her bluff – if it were a true emergency, she would not be asking – she’d be there with armed police officers, forcing her way in.
Many times they will come with a warrant but it is “Rubber Stamped” rather than an actual signature on the warrant. If it is “Rubber Stamped”, show it to the policeman that might be with them and tell the investigator that she cannot enter because it is a FAKE warrant. Do not give the warrant back in case you want to bring it up in court.
While talking to this “investigator”, NEVER admit to being sexually or physically abused as a child. (Even if this person is no longer in your life.) NEVER admit that your husband has ever hit you. NEVER admit that you have been put on psychotropic drugs. NEVER admit that your husband drinks a couple of beers when he gets home. Never admit to ANYTHING.
There is no compromise on this. There are no exceptions. If you invite a caseworker into your home, you have waived your fourth amendment protection. And if the caseworker is intent on taking your children, SHE WILL FIND SOMETHING IN YOUR HOME TO JUSTIFY IT. THAT IS A GUARANTEE. People have had their children taken away just for having dust bunnies under their couch.
Understand that you may be threatened. You may be lied to. She may tell you that the 4th amendment doesn’t apply to caseworkers. That is a lie. She may tell you that she doesn’t need a warrant. That is a lie. She may tell you that she’ll return with armed police officers. And she very well may. But that changes nothing. Even a man with a gun on your porch doesn’t change the fact that she has no right to enter your home.
Many times they will come with police officers. This is a way to intimidate you. The truth is that they are only there for 2 reasons. The first is to protect the caseworker. The second is, if there really is a court order to take your children, they will assist in it. If the caseworker does come up with a legal warrant or court order, you should obey it. If you do not, it will only go bad for you from the police. From there you can only fight this legally. Physically will not work.
Do not physically resist if officers do force their way in. Make your objections clear, but stand aside. You cannot fight for your children if you are injured, dead, in jail or a hospital.
Demand that you not be separated from your children, and that your children be interrogated only with your attorney present. (This demand will likely be ignored, but demand it anyway. The fact that they ignored you may become important in later court proceedings.)
Hostility toward the investigator is considered evidence of guilt. Your perfectly natural angry reaction to being accused of harming your child will be used as evidence of an abusive personality. DON’T TRY TO ARGUE YOUR INNOCENCE!!! This is where an attorney can be a valuable asset. He or she can stand up to the bully on your behalf. Just tell them you feel uncomfortable talking to them and that you will need to talk to your attorney.
ALWAYS Record The Interview
ALWAYS record the interview with a recorder, smartphone, tablet,…..what ever. Say as little as possible. They are looking for contradictions. They are taught to write as few notes as they can. Back at the office they will write a SUMMERY in a narrative format of your discussion based on their biases. Most of the time it will be from their memory and then use that against you. (Remember, hearsay is legal in Juvenile court.) NEVER TRUST THEM! They are not here to help you. They are the enemy.
NEVER agree to let your kid have a private interview with the investigator at your house.
If they take the child, demand a tape recording of their interrogation.
Demand that CPS tape any interrogation of your child. In some states they are required by law to do so. Bring your own recorder in case the CPS agent “loses” hers.
Some states allow you to record a conversation in secret as long as one of you know it is being done. That one person can be YOU. Buy a spy recorder and practice with it to get a good sounding recording.
Tape record every conversation you have with a CPS worker – but do it secretly. It will ALWAYS make a CPS worker enraged when they find out they are being recorded. So do not tell them. Believe me, they are recording you all the time. They are issued a recording ink pen to write with. If you see them always clicking the pen then you know you are being recorded.
If The Allegation Is One Of Drug Use
If the allegation is one of drug use, they may ask for a drug test. Usually it is a oral type test. You put in your mouth and wait for a few minutes until your saliva soaks into it. If you have not had any type of meds, marijuana, Quaalude, or other drugs for at least 3 day, you will probably pass. If you do not pass, they will get a warrant for an urine test. If you say no to these test, they will then turn their attention to your child and see if they can get anything out of them.
If The Allegation Is One Of Physical Abuse
If the allegation is one of physical abuse, If you know that your child has NO bruising bring your child to the door and show them. Keep your child on the home side of the doors threshold. Do what it takes to show them that your child has not been harmed. Lift up their shirt, have them pull down their pants…..what ever it takes for them to see no abuse has taken place. Make sure that the investigator does NOT talk to them.
You do not have to show your child at the door. You can tell the investigator that you will take the child to a Doctor. You do not have to tell the investigator what doctor.
Ask him to write a letter stating that no bruises, marks, or health concerns were found on the child that would create suspicion of child abuse or neglect. Make sure to document that physical exam with photos that you can use in court. DO NOT give the CPS investigator that report. Go to a doctor you trust. NEVER , NEVER, NEVER go to a doctor recommended by CPS.
They are going to try all sorts of ways to get you to “confess”. They might tell you that if you do not cooperate, that your children will be taken away and you will never see them again. They will try to get the wife to separate from the husband or get a divorce if she wants to keep her children. DO NOT FALL FOR IT. The truth is, it is against the law for them to use coercion to get you to admit to anything or sign a plea of guilt.
Keep Records of Everything
Keep everything written down in a journal. On the journal, write “Notes to My Attorney”. This will assure client/attorney confidentiality and prevent CPS from using it in court. In this journal, write notes on every meeting, visitations, court hearings, anything out of the ordinary that occurs, counseling appointments, your psyc evaluation, drug tests,
Get Family and Friends Involved
Gather names of friends and relatives who are willing and able to care for your children if CPS takes them. They are required by law to place with family or friends before considering a foster care child warehouse, but will often ignore that law if you let them. Don’t let them. If your children must spend time away from you, it’s far better that they do so with people you know and trust than in an abusive foster facility.
Also, get your friends, family, co-workers, pastor – anyone who has seen you parenting your child – to write a letter on your behalf, stating what a good parent you are. CPS investigators are required to take such information into consideration, and it’s much harder for them to illegally snatch your child without cause when they know a crowd is watching them.
Now that you know what the allegation is exactly, make sure that what they write their letters to show it is not true.