CPS investigations tend to be overwhelming and may leave you feeling hopeless and worried about the future of your family. Understanding the accusations you are facing and how the investigation process works is a good step towards taking charge of the situation. Cases usually begin with a report of suspected abuse or neglect from a concerned family member, teacher, or caregiver. Upon receiving the initial report, CPS has 24 hours to begin investigating the claims. If the CPS worker determines the child is in immediate danger of any kind, he or she may be temporarily removed from the home within a 24-hour window until more information is available. CPS has 30 days to wrap up the investigation, unless an extension is requested. During this time period, the CPS worker in charge of the case will conduct interviews with child or children involved, the alleged perpetrator, caretakers, and anyone else that may have important insight. The CPS worker will also review the police reports and visit the home of the child.
If you’ve been accused of child abuse or neglect and have questions about your parental rights and how to fight back, contact a CPS attorney in Michigan as soon as possible. Having legal representation could mean the difference between clearing your name and having your child permanently removed from your home, which is why it is important to reach out to a lawyer early on in your case.
After the CPS worker has conducted a thorough investigation, he or she is responsible for determining if there is enough evidence of child abuse or neglect to take action. CPS uses the "preponderance of evidence" standard, which means they have to prove that there is a 51% chance that child abuse or neglect has taken place. The case is then placed into one of five categories, with Category I being the most severe. In order for a case to be placed in Category I, there must be a preponderance of evidence that the child was abused or neglected and the case must be petitioned through the court. Cases involving sexual conduct allegations against a parent, caretaker, or anyone else that lives in the household are automatically placed in Category I and a petition is filed through Juvenile Court for the removal of the child or children and termination of all parental rights. The name of the alleged perpetrator will also be placed on Central Registry.
Before your case goes to trial, you will face a series of hearings. The first is the Preliminary Hearing, which will determine the wording of the petition and whether your child will reside with relatives or a foster family. Parents may also voluntarily begin services during this stage of the case. During the Adjudication Hearing, a trial will be held to determine if the child comes within jurisdiction of the court and if the accusations can be proven true by a preponderance of evidence. It will also be determined if the child can remain under the court’s jurisdiction, be returned to his or her home, or be placed in foster care. The Dispositional Hearing follows the Adjudication Hearing, and consists of a review of the parent or caregiver’s progress. The status of the child will be reevaluated, and the court will also consider whether or not the plan for care needs any changes made. If the plan is modified, a dispositional review will take place to ensure the new plan for care is in the best interest of the child.
CPS cases can be damaging to a family, especially if the parent or caretaker is also facing criminal charges. The Grabel & Associates team is committed to going above and beyond our legal duties to the wellbeing of you and your child is protected throughout every stage of your case. We’ll help you set up a plan for care and even contact friends or relatives that may be able to temporarily care for your child. The sooner you reach out to us, the more we can do to defend your parental rights and keep your family together.
For more information about what a CPS investigation entails, give us a call at 1-800-342-7896. A seasoned case analyst will review the details of your case and answer any questions you may have. We can also be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week via our online contact form. If you need help battling CPS, don’t hesitate to reach out to Grabel & Associates today.