This is the next post in my series discussing what a Las Vegas parent should know if Child Protective Services has been contacted regarding one’s child. My last post explained the initial process of what happens when a report is first made to CPS. In this post I will explain the options of what further happens should an active case be opened.
Following the first contact with a CPS caseworker, if it is believed that there is evidence of abuse, then an active case will be opened. The first thing a caseworker will do is assess whether or not the child is immediately safe in the home. Factors that go into this assessment include whether there is food in the home, whether the home is large enough for all of the persons currently living in it, whether the child appears to hygenic, and whether or not there is evidence the child is in immediate danger. If the child is deemed to not be reasonably safe then the child or children will be temporarily removed from the home. CPS will first seek to place the children with a relative, friend, or another parent who is willing and able to house and care for the child. If such a person is not available then the child will be placed in a foster care home while the family receives services. In some cases the child is deemed safe to remain in the home but the family may have to adhere to a specially tailored safety plan. For example, if there are allegations that the child was abused by one parent, or a relative, the family may have to agree that the child’s abuser will not live in the home or have any contact with the child.
Following CPS’s investigation, the family will be mandated to go to Family Court. In Court CPS will present to a Judge their report and make recommendations. The first recommendation will pertain to whether or not CPS believes the child should be placed in the parent’s home or in foster care while the case is open. In order to close the case CPS will make a series of recommendations that the family will need to address in order to meet the child’s needs. These recommendations may include medical care, educational concerns, psychological services for the child, psychological services for the parent, anger management for the parent, life skills classes, or drug and alcohol treatment. CPS may also mandate that the parent obtain a steady income, and/or show proof of stable housing before a child is returned to their care.
At the conclusion of a hearing, a Judge will make his orders, which generally mirror the recommendations of CPS. The family will then be assigned a caseworker who will assist them in implementing the Court’s orders. Contact my office to speak with a Child Protective Services attorney.