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What Happens When CPS Sees a Complaint

What Happens When CPS Sees a ComplaintWhen CPS receives a complaint, which can be anonymous, they must determine if an investigation is needed. Individuals who call in complaints for child abuse or child neglect to CPS do not have to provide any proof or documentation for allegations. If they alledge they have a suspicion they believe something inappropriate has taken place this is enough for CPS to start an investigation.

The Intake at CPS

During the intake with the person making the allegations CPS seeks to find out the location of the child or children and their names. They also ask the caller how old they believe the child or children are. They ask who are the parents or the people responsible for taking care of the child or children.

The Investigation

An investigation by CPS will usually occur within 24 hours after a report is received. The case worker will go to the residence of the family. When they come to the residence they will seek to interview the parents. They will also seek to interview the child or children outside the presence of the parents. If they are unable to get into the house to interview the child or children or if the parents refuse to allow the child or children to be interviewed, the CPS worker will go to the child’s or children’s school. They will contact the principal at the school and have the child or children pulled out of class and conduct an interview of the child or children in the school.


The CPS worker will ask the parents at the time of their interview to sign releases so they can obtain all types of medical records, school records and other information with regard to the parents or caretakers and the child or children. It is recommended that parents do not execute the releases for this information. At a minimum a parent should meet with and consult with a CPS attorney before considering exposing all their private information and documents to CPS investigators.

Action Taken After The Investigation

CPS case workers will prepare reports with regard to the allegations made against the parents or caretakers and the recommendation either to indicate the parent for child abuse or neglect or to have the case closed. Sometimes the CPS worker will make one recommendation but a supervisor upon reviewing the report overrules the CPS worker and indicates a parent for child abuse or neglect.

schlissel-headshotThe law firm of Schlissel DeCorpo LLP has been helping families deal with ACS and CPS for more than 30 years. We can be reached at 718-350- 2802, 516-561-6645 or 631-319-8262 or by e-mail at INFO@SDNYLAW. COM.

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