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Be Wary of Child Protective Services (CPS) And the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS)

Frustrated little girl upset parents

Many people think of CPS and ACS as selfless agencies that help innocent children avoid sexual abuse, physical abuse and all types of neglectful situation.  There are many selfless hardworking CPS and ACS investigators who tirelessly work to prevent children from falling into terrible situations.  Unfortunately, there is another side to the story involving CPS and ACS investigators.  This involves CPS and ACS investigators improperly threatening to remove children from homes or removing children from homes.  Children can be removed from homes in situations where the parents have done absolutely nothing wrong.  If you are contacted or investigated by CPS or ACS you should be very careful.

The Innocent Mother

In some situations the mother goes to CPS or ACS because she feels that there has been a problem of child abuse involving one or more of her children.  CPS investigates and sometimes finds the child has been abused either by a family member or that there is domestic violence in the home.  The mother has contacted to CPS or ACS for help.  She usually is seeking to protect her child or children from being abused.  However, the mother, who in no way, form or manner perpetrated  the abuse against the child or children is often turned on by CPS and ACS.  The mother ends up under investigation.  CPS or ACS can threaten to take her children from her even if only one child was abused.  The mother in this case is the non-offending parent.  Instead of helping the mother, the mother now needs protection from CPS and ACS.  The mother should be looked at as being victimized by the perpetrator of the abuse not someone who is accused of helping the perpetrator abuse the children.

In this case the CPS or ACS will often mandate the mother to a set of programs and goals to satisfy them.  These programs often amount to having the mother jump through smaller and smaller hoops to convince CPS or ACS that she is a worthy parent even though she has done nothing wrong other than to help her children avoid being abused.

Control by CPS and ACS

CPS  and ACS enforces the control over the mother by continually threatening to take her children away unless she continues to comply with their ever changing and difficult set of requirements that she take programs and meet goals that there is no reason for.  The mothers are terrified by the threats of CPS and ACS to take their children from them or keep their children from them.

The level of proof submitted by CPS in emergency proceedings can include hearsay, which are out of court statements by third parties that are unproveable.  The level of proof in these child abuse proceedings that CPS or ACS must meet is very minimal.  CPS and ACS have an extremely low burden of proof in these proceedings to remove children.

In recent years there has been a growing recognition of the improper inquire that CPS and ACStreats the non-offending parent.  However, virtually nothing has been done to change CPS’s and ACS’s methods of operating and the abusive treatment of the non-offending parent.

Elliot S. Schlissel, Esq., is a ACS and CPS defense lawyer.  He has been protecting families charged by CPS and ACS for child abuse and child neglect for more than 3 decades.  He can be reached for a free consultation at  800-344-6431 or e-mailed at Elliot@sdnylaw.com.

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