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Who Reports Families to ACS and CPS?

Who Reports Families to ACS and CPS?Friends, family members, neighbors or individuals who have axes to grind against you can report you to ACS or CPS for child abuse and/or child neglect.

Mandatory Reporter Of Child Abuse and Child Neglect

There are individuals who are considered mandatory reporters. These individuals include police, doctors, nurses, teachers, psychiatrists, psychologists, daycare workers, firefighters and a variety of other individuals. Mandatory reporters are legally obligated to report suspected cases of child abuse or child neglect. If they fail to fulfill their duty to report these cases criminal charges can potentially be made against them.

What Rights Do Parents Have?

When a CPS or ACS investigator shows up at a parent’s home in the middle of the night. It usually shocks the parents. Parents have rights if they’re subject to being investigated by ACS or CPS. Parents have the right to know the basis for the investigation and the specific allegations against them. Parents can ask who reported the case against them, but in most situations they will not get a response to that request. If allegations are made in writing, parents can request copies of those written allegations of child abuse and child neglect. Parents have a right to record the communications they have with the CPS or ACS worker. The individual recording the communication must be in the room during that conversation and a party to the conversation. If they are not, they will be violating the laws in the State of New York.

Protect Your Home

Parents have a right to keep CPS and ACS investigators out of their home. The 4th Amendment, the United States Constitution protects home owners against “illegal searches and seizure.” This means no government agent can come to your home and demand entry without a court order. If the CPS or ACS worker comes to your house and knocks on your door, you can politely tell them you’ll talk to them in the doorway, but you are not inviting them into your home. The worker may insist they have the right to come into your home. Even if they have a police officer present with them they do not have this right.

Court Orders To Enter Your Home

If the allegations against you involve the children’s living conditions in your home the ACS or CPS worker, can go to court and request a court order to enter your home to determine whether the allegations of the conditions in your home are true or false. In most situations, if the CPS or ACS worker is seeking a court order you will receive notice and you can come to court with an attorney and defend yourself. In situations that are severe or where there are real emergencies, the court can grant permission to the CPS or ACS worker to come to your home and investigate without giving you notice to attend a hearing on the matter.

If the CPS worker comes to your home ask them why you’re being investigated. If they’re walking around your home, ask them what they’re looking for.

Right to Counsel

You have an absolute right to hire an attorney before you speak with an investigator from CPS or ACS. If you talk with the CPS or ACS investigator, anything you say to them can be used against you in court. Your words could be misinterpreted or twisted by the investigator. There are no such thing as Miranda rights involving CPS and ACS investigators.

schlissel-headshotElliot S. Schlissel, Esq. is the managing partner of Schlissel DeCorpo LLP. He has been practicing law for 42 years. Elliot, his partner Nathan DeCorpo, and their associates represent individuals in child abuse and child neglect investigations throughout the Metropolitan New York area. The law firm has been involved in handling these cases for more than 45 years. Elliot, Nathan and their associates have extensive experience dealing with scores of cases and successfully defending their clients regarding allegations of child abuse and child neglect. Elliot and Nathan can be reached at 800-344-6431 or e-mail Elliot at Elliot@sdnylaw.com or Nathan at Ndecorpo@sdnylaw.com.

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