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When someone files a report with Child Protective Services, or CPS, the organization is legally obligated to investigate the claim. However, that doesn’t mean that the organization is out to harm the parents or take them to court over false claims. An investigation is simply a tool to make sure that the child is being raised in a safe home.

What happens when someone files a report with CPS?

Once someone files a report with CPS, the claim must be investigated. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the child will be taken away or the parents are being accused of a crime. It just means that the report will be taken seriously.

To follow up on the report, a CPS employee might contact the parent. If they get all the information they need in a single conversation and determine that no wrongdoing has taken place, the case might be closed. However, if the employee is unable to draw a conclusion, the case might become a full investigation. The CPS employee seeks to discover the truth behind the claim and find out if it’s true or false. As a result, they have to gather as much evidence as possible.

Even if the claim appears to be blatantly false, a CPS employee is still legally obligated to investigate it. However, if someone is trying to harass a family by repeatedly filing false claims, CPS might close the cases without contacting the parents about the reports. Overall, it’s CPS’s duty to act in the best interests of the child whether that means removing the child from an abusive home or protecting them from false accusations made against their parents.

How should a family proceed after they’ve been contacted by CPS?

If a family is being investigated by Child Protective Services, they might wish to hire an attorney. A family law attorney may be able to help them protect their rights during the investigation.