Being Investigated For Child Abuse Or Neglect? Let Us Answer Your Questions.
For most parents, the thought of having their children taken away is among their worst fears. Yet for many Colorado families, this is a risk when parents are being investigated by the Colorado Department of Human Services’ Division of Child Welfare, commonly referred to as social services.
At Pickard Law, P.C., we provide advice and counsel to parents who are being investigated for reports of suspected child abuse or neglect. On this page, we’ve answered some questions you may have about the process and how you should respond to social services officials. After reading, we invite you to ask any additional questions and learn more about your legal options by scheduling an initial consultation with our skilled and caring attorneys.
I just got a call from social services. What should I do?
Although it is best to contact an attorney before responding to an interview request, you can have an initial conversation even if you don’t have a lawyer. What you say to social services won’t hurt you in the same way that talking to the police likely would.
Should I sign the safety plan that social services showed me?
You should not sign without talking to an attorney first. A representative will likely tell you that signing a safety plan means that social services won’t take your kids away. However, the reality is that if a safety plan exists at all, social services was probably not planning to take the children anyway. Therefore, you don’t need to make the decision to sign immediately, and you have time to discuss the details with an attorney.
Do I have to let a social services representative into my home when they show up?
No, you don’t, unless the representative arrives with a court order or has reason to believe your children are in immediate danger. You also have the right to refuse an immediate interview if they have shown up unannounced. You don’t need to worry that asking them to reschedule will make you look guilty. You can simply say that you are not currently free to talk or would prefer to answer questions after you’ve had some time to prepare.
Does social services already think I’m guilty of abuse or neglect if they are asking for an interview?
Not necessarily. Social services employees have a legal obligation to investigate all reports of suspected child abuse or neglect, even if those reports are, or seem to be, false. You are allowed to ask questions about the nature of the allegations before answering any questions. We go into more detail on your rights and options on our page about responding to social services contacts.
We Are Here To Help – Contact Us For Skilled Legal Guidance
Because we provide representation in both criminal defense and family law, our attorneys are well equipped to provide guidance and knowledgeable representation in matters related to social services and allegations of child abuse and neglect. To ask us your own questions and learn how we can help you, send us an email or call our Littleton office at 303-989-6655.