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Removal of Children from Parents’ Home

Administration for Children's ServicesIn the five boroughs of the City of New York the Administration for Children’s Services (hereinafter referred to as “ACS”) is the investigatory agency that deals with child abuse and criminal proceedings. In the rest of the State of New York Child Protective Services (hereinafter referred to as “CPS”) investigates child abuse and child neglect allegations and takes legal action to remove children from their homes.

Emergency Removal of Children

Any point during an investigation either ACS or CPS can determine a child is not safe in the home the child currently lives in. In the event the Family Court is not in session at the time the emergency exists, ACS and CPS can take action to have an emergency removal of the child. If the Family Court is in session, ACS or CPS will bring an application to the Family Court for the immediate removal of the child or children from the family’s home. If the children are removed from the family’s home, a child safety conference will be conducted in the Family Court to determine what is necessary to keep the child safe from harm. At the child safety conference the parents can bring witnesses, family members or others who support their claims to have their child returned.

The Case Workers on Child Removal

At any time during an investigation a case worker or supervisor can come to a conclusion that a child’s safety is in danger. At that point a proceeding is brought by CPS or ACS to the Family Court for an order to remove the child or children from the parents’ home and place the child in foster care.

Removal of Children from a Parent’s Home

The removal of children from a parent’s home is a traumatic event for both the parents and the children. Parents have constitutional rights to an immediate hearing if their child or children are removed from their homes. If there are allegations of child abuse or child neglect, parents must take these allegations seriously. CPS and ACS social worker have a tendency to overreact to allegations that may not be true. A child may be playing with his or her friends and receive an injury. The child then goes to school, a teacher notices it, sends the child to the nurse, and the nurse and the school call CPS or ACS. They overreact to this bruise on the child and now there is a situation that can get out of hand. Good natured, loving parents can be exposed to improper emergency applications, levels of supervision that are not necessary and hearing in Family Court.

CPS and ACS Defense

If you are accused of child abuse or child neglect the first thing you should do before you speak to the social workers, is to contact a CPS attorney. The purpose of a CPS or ACS investigation is to prove the child was abused or neglected. CPS and ACS investigations can be equated with investigations by the IRS. Instead of being innocent until proven guilty, you are considered guilty unless you can prove otherwise. Sometimes it is difficult to prove a negative. The most basic human rights involve the ability to raise your children!

schlissel-headshotElliot S. Schlissel has been defending parents, guardians and other family members for allegations of child abuse and child neglect for more than 45 years. He can be reached for a free consultation at 800-344-6431 or e-mailed at Elliot@sdnylaw.com.

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