They don't call them the troubled teens for nothing. And if you believe that your little bundle of joy won't grow up to cause you that much trouble, you couldn't be more wrong. I am not saying that every kid will grow up to be a rebellious teenager, but all of us have been teenagers and we know how frustrating that phase can feel sometimes and how parents seem like the greatest enemies. Parents really cannot afford to be not prepared anymore. It is devastating for any parent to know that your child has falsely accused you of torture and abuse.
But being prepared for such situations will help you get through these troubled times and keep your family together. After meeting many parents who have been attacked by the Child Protective Services, I have realized that many innocent parents get overwhelmed by these accusations and end up doing or saying a lot of things that can actually weaken their stance.
While each case is different there are certain ground rules that are best followed when tackling the false accusations of child abuse by troubled children or somebody else. After all nobody wants one wrong move or one outburst to tear the family apart forever.
Being Forthright and Fearless
When the Child Protective Services come to your home with their set of false claims, as difficult as it may be, remain unperturbed. Ask if they have a search warrant, most of the times when they come without prior notice they do not have a search warrant. They will try to threaten you and tell you that the child will be taken away from you if you do not allow them to carry out their duties. But be alert about your rights. Know what your rights are and make sure you convey that to the officials politely but fearlessly.
Being polite with these officials is extremely important. Not showing your anger and stress before them shows that you are confident but not arrogant. Do not expect the CPS workers to be sympathetic towards you. For them you are guilty and proving your guilt is of utmost importance to them.
Opting For Legal Counsel
CPS complaints are complicated and involve a multitude of factors. When you get to know your child has filed a false complaint against you, you may be heartbroken, but do not hesitate to contact an expert attorney immediately. CPS workers can manipulate various information to prove you guilty as this is their job. Their job is not to investigate to redeem you of the charges, but to prove those against you. Unfortunately this can also involve lies and slander from the CPS workers.
You will definitely need an expert and aggressive attorney to fight these vicious charges
and ensure your child is not taken away. Legal counsel also becomes extremely important when the accuser is a third-party individual. In such cases the accuser's identity is not revealed, and the reports are made anonymously.
Your lawyer will navigate you through the case presenting evidence that dismiss the false claims made against you. You may feel that there is ample evidence to prove you are innocent , that talking to your child itself will be proof enough, but that is not usually how it occurs. Words of evidence bearers like neighbors, family members, doctors, school staff and the child are twisted in a way to prove you guilty. Hence it is important that before they speak anything or vouch for you, you keep them well-informed about your situation and also make them consult your attorney. The attorney will tell them how, what they say can be interpreted against you and how to avoid these crucial mistakes.
However, if you still find discrepancies in the caseworker’s report containing misrepresentations and lies, your lawyer will help you create a legal document called “Objections and Corrections to the Report of the Social Worker” that you can present before the court.
Your other children and family members must be kept in the loop so that when the CPS workers find them in places like child-care and schools, they do not get scared and can answer the questions properly.
Keeping Records and Collecting Evidence
Making your case as strong as possible requires you to record the actions of the CPS workers. The responses of the CPS workers often become loopholes in the case and may work to your advantage. Recording through written notes or a video or tape recorder also prevents to a large extent, false reports and quotes being presented in the court.
However, do tell them that they are being recorded. If they try to dissuade you from doing it and instead offer to send you all the investigation report copy, accept the offer but at the same time make it clear that you will be keeping your own records simultaneously for your protection.
However, do seek the written copy of all the charges against you, so that you know exactly what you are being framed for and how to go about defending yourself. While the CPS workers will be talking to a plethora of people to establish the claims against you, it is important that you have a set of people who are willing to testify in court for you.
When those in authority like doctors, school teachers, counselors are willing to testify for your good relations with your child, it is important that you record all their statements throughout the court proceedings. Sometimes for various reasons and pressure there is a difference or reversal in what they say earlier and later. It is best to have as many records as possible and collect as much evidence to strengthen your case.
Facing the CPS
A common mistake made by many parents facing abuse charges are to escape interactions and meetings with the CPS. It is important to be in constant touch with the CPS. Avoiding them will only allow them to file what they believe is true and make your case weaker. Besides when you avoid them, it might also give them the impression that you are guilty.
So talk to them, work with them. If any worker is being unreasonable and forceful with you, report to their supervisors. Ask exactly what the charges against you are, keep a tab on their investigation. Many times the parents have realized that the charges filed against them are not the child's words or experiences at all.
This should be looked into by the attorney hired as well as the CPS officers as it is a part of their responsibility to assess the probability of the accusations and see if the accusations fit in with the child's relevant experiences and circumstances. If not, the element of coercion or gullibility must be explored.
Working with the CPS is necessary not just during the tenure of the case, but also when the investigation is concluded. Your name and case is entered into the CPA database registry when you are being investigated. However when you have been found innocent, your name must be removed from the database. This often does not happen, and so you need to keep in touch with the CPS and request them to remove your name from the database and send you a letter confirming the same.
Parents need to know that if they are innocent and are being falsely framed they have every right to question the claims and hire an attorney to fight the charges. They need not be scared of the CPS workers because their primary duty is to ensure the best possible care and safety for the child. The core philosophy behind CPS is also pro-families and parents that states most children are best taken care by parents and most parents have the strength and capacity to take care of their children
and keep them safe.
So putting aside fear and anger, fight for your child so that no one can snatch your child away from you.