As parent’s we have a lot of responsibilities to our children. We are responsible for the way they grow up, the type of person they become and all of the disciplinary decisions throughout the process. It is difficult to discipline your child but it is also vital to the result of your child becoming an adult.
If we do not correct our kids and allow them to do as they want we can inadvertently raise criminals and adults who believe that doing as they wish instead of following rules and laws is the “normal” way to behave. The case can also be made for parents who overly correct to the point of physical, mental and emotional abuse. There is a huge difference between correction or discipline versus abusive behavior. Abuse can also breed criminals as anger and resentment grow through years of suffered violence and ridicule. The two extremes of the spectrum are dangerous roads to tread.
Your choices in raising your children can sometimes be criticized by others. Anyone can make an accusation to CPS but commonly the people who make fraudulent reports are in the targeted parent’s circle of family and friends.
Custody Battles: When parents go through custody battles for their children, fear and competition can sometimes compel them to making false CPS reports to make themselves look better in court or to punish the other parent. This can backfire though, as all reports must be substantiated in order to make any dramatic changes. If the reports are obviously fraudulent the reporter can get into some legal trouble. Not to mention parents that choose this route often don’t consider how harmful this is to the children involved.
In-Laws: Meddlesome family members can also stir the pot if they believe that the parents are not raising their child according to their standards. This is a dangerous power trip and this type of controlling behavior is not healthy but does contribute to false claims of abuse.
The Ex: Whether it is an ex-girlfriend, boyfriend or best friend, fights can go overboard when CPS is called into the scene. Vengeance is another common reason for untrue reports.
Reports are usually not substantiated without proof. When CPS validates claims of neglect or abuse they generally, depending on the severity of danger or threat of violence, give the parents time to correct the problem through rehab, anger management classes or parenting classes. Again, depending on the threat level toward the child, the social workers may leave the children in the home or remove them until the recommendations are completed by the offender.
What Can You Do?
Regardless of whether or not the allegations are founded, a parent does have rights. They can obtain the advice or full representation of a lawyer to get the children back in the home and fight CPS in court. But, getting a lawyer is not always needed and plenty of cases have been won without the assistance of an attorney.
From the moment CPS enters your life, a person should ask for a manual containing the policies and procedural conduct of the local social workers immediately as well as starting a journal of all that happens. Among the recorded essentials should be proof collected in their favor, if the CPS workers followed each and every step they are supposed to, as well as witnesses that can confirm your side. This is not legal advice, but merely common sense steps to take in order to defend your rights and your family’s rights.
If you can not afford a lawyer there are Legal Document Assistants (LDA) that can help you for a fraction of the cost of a lawyer. “An LDA is basically a paralegal, they have the same education and experience as paralegals and many have worked as such prior to becoming an LDA. We can not give legal advice or represent clients in court but we do all of the necessary footwork for our clients such as: research, preparing all of their documents, writing a compelling declaration, etc. This generally costs the client around 1/10 of what a lawyer charges for the same work.” – A. Helmecy, LDA
But there is a warning when going to an LDA or paralegal, “Don’t be too trusting when it comes to legal assistants. Many “companies” or individuals state that they are legal professionals but in reality they are at best self-taught and at worst scam artists looking for easy prey. A real LDA should be bonded and registered. A person can not get bonded and registered without proving to their county that they have completed the necessary education and are a legal citizen (among other things). Also, if a person claims to be a paralegal, this should raise a red flag. The law states that the term “paralegal” should only be used when a legal professional works for a lawyer, not the public. A true paralegal would know this and would identify themselves to the public as a legal document assistant instead. So, bottom line, if they do not have a registration number then don’t get involved as their business practice is likely illegal.”
Can Parents Win in Court Against CPS?
The answer is yes. Innocent parents do it all the time. If you are guilty, you may have some difficulty getting your kids back so a lawyer is recommended. Either way, when dealing with a legal situation of this magnitude a legal professional is highly recommended for preparing your declaration and documents. You do not want to make costly mistakes that can end up hurting your case.
If CPS has not followed their own rules of conduct, lied, falsified reports, etc. you can sue them in a federal court. This does happen and parents can and do win. The news is never lacking in stories of social workers engaging in criminal activity. Complaints that social workers are removing children for no valid reason is also on the rise. Often when parents win this type of suit they are awarded monetary compensation as well as getting their children back.