DCFS, sometimes referred to as CPS, is there to protect children and that is a very noble cause in most cases. However, there may be instances where a CPS worker can be over zealous and border harassment towards parents in certain cases. As a criminal defense attorney in Torrance for over twenty years I have seen many horror stories. This article helps to explain how to deal with Child Protective Services when they have you in their sights.
First, understand the role of the CPS worker, their goal is to investigate cases of suspected abuse and resolve the cases by either closing the case and doing nothing or taking the child and referring the case to the County for prosecution.
In most cases it is best to cooperate fully with them, let them do their job. In many cases, hiring a lawyer may actually aggravate the situation and extend the investigation. If a child makes allegations of abuse they take these statements seriously. They have jurisdiction over the child. CPS will view any lawyer for the child who was hired by the parent in this context as having a conflict of interest. They rarely believe any recant, and if a lawyer hired by mom or dad is hovering, they will assume the parents have pressured the recant and you are there to force the issue.
With regard to requests to interview the child, cooperate. They will yank the kids if mom prohibits kids from speaking with them. CPS first and foremost is about the welfare. If you don’t play the game with DCFS they have no other choice but to remove the child from the home to facilitate an interview.
Regard the decision to hire an attorney as a last case scenario. There certainly are cases where retains counsel can be the best decision, certainly contact a Child Abuse Defense Attorney when allegations have risen to a criminal investigation and the police want to interview you about the accusations.