Long Island Family Law Attorney Helps Parents & Other Caretakers During Child Protective Services Investigations in Nassau County and Suffolk County
CPS Investigations and the Best Interests of the Child
If a child is removed from a parent’s custody on the grounds of suspected abuse or neglect, this can be a trying time for not only the child, but for the parents and other family members. In many cases, a child will be placed in the care and custody of a family member on a temporary basis for the duration of the Child Protective Services (CPS) investigation. While this temporary custody does not provide long-term legal rights to the care and custody of the child, the placement plays an extremely important role in the child’s sense of safety and wellbeing while a CPS investigation is underway. There is no way of predicting or knowing what the outcome of the investigation will be, so it is most helpful to direct your energy to caring for the child and making sure of your responsibilities as a caretaker are met.
Put Your Child’s Needs Ahead of Your Own During CPS Investigation
If you are a parent being investigated for abuse or neglect, it can be a very scary and unnerving experience. You might be feeling powerless as you are asked to face your county’s social services department in a family court proceeding. There are certain points that you should keep in mind at all times. Most importantly, you must put the child’s needs ahead of your own. It is also important that you cooperate with the investigation. Fighting or yelling may temporarily relieve your fear and frustration, but will not help your cause. While remaining calm through your frustration may seem impossible, a record of reliability, respectfulness and a willingness to cooperate with the authorities will get you much further in your quest to keep your child with you.
Take Copious Notes About Everything Related to Case
It is also important for you to keep notes and write down as much as you can about all events, witnesses, and discussions related to the case. This will help you to protect yourself from false claims against you by providing a written record of all related occurrences. Cooperating with all recommendations for treatment and parenting classes, as well as showing up for every court appearance and appointment will show that you are holding yourself accountable and will do whatever it takes to protect your child. If you have a problem with anger management or drug or alcohol abuse, these can be lifelong struggles that require constant attention to keep in check. Because it is your relationship with your child that is at risk, take your treatment options seriously and commit to a long-term plan of health and sobriety. Pursuing treatment and counseling will not make you appear to be a weak parent; in fact, it will make you appear more concerned, responsible, and committed to the health and safety of your child. It is important that you take these issues seriously, and demonstrate your willingness to make positive changes in your life.
Seek Assistance from an Experienced Long Island Family Law Attorney
While CPS involvement is certainly not an ideal situation, the emergency removal of a child from his home is for his or her own safety. Keeping this mind, while also knowing and protecting your rights as a parent, grandparent, or other relative providing care, can ultimately help you to keep your child safe and your family together. If you are a parent who is the focus of a child protective services investigation, a noncustodial parent concerned about abuse or neglect, or a relative caretaker with questions about your role in a child protective proceeding, contact the trusted, experienced family law attorneys at the Law Office of Robert E. Hornberger, Esq., P.C. at 631-923-1910 for a free consultation with a family law attorney.
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