This section is an important one to pay attention to for anyone who is going through the investigation stages of a CPS process (or hopefully even before it). There are quite a lot of misconceptions about this process, but one main point is the importance of giving the investigators enough information to rule out allegations, while not oversharing and getting into trouble. Investigators are very good at getting information out of parents, either by making threats, or by making it seem like they are on your side. The important thing to remember is that everything you say and do can and will be used against you, just like in a criminal process. That said, if you choose to stonewall them completely, they can and will ask the court to order you to comply with their investigation.
The exact amount of information to turn over is very fact specific, and it is important to talk to your lawyer about it, but if a CPS investigator is truly concerned about something going on, they are very few ways to hide that information from them. Remember, that if an investigator is talking to your family, they have already received a referral from somewhere, and it is important to give them enough information to rule out that referral while making sure to not give them additional cause to be concerned. Make sure your house is clean and free from anything that could reflect negatively on you. Many CPS cases start because of a referral for something random, and then a CPS investigator comes over and finds drugs of some kind, so be aware that even if their referral is for one thing, it doesn’t mean they can’t find other reasons to get involved in your life.
One other key deadline in this section is the 45 day deadline for asking for a review. There are some other avenues to pursue after this date, but if you disagree with the findings in an investigation, remember to ask for a review within 45 days of receiving the letter from CPS. A finding of “reason to believe” can have fairly significant and lasting consequences, even if CPS is choosing not to be involved after that point, and it is important to fight that if possible.
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