In New York State, allegations of child abuse and neglect are investigated by the Department of Social Services, Child Protective Services Unit. This arm of the government investigates all allegations made from many sources, including an anonymous hotline, mandated reporters such as doctors and school officials and police agencies. If, upon investigating such a report, Child Protective Services (CPS) believes that there is some minimally credible evidence to believe that the allegations may be true and may impair the health and welfare of the child, they may file a report “indicating” the allegations against the person named in the report.
This “indicated” report remains on record with the New York State Office of Family and Children until 10 years after the youngest child named in the report is 18 years of age. This “indicated” report will be disclosed, upon request, if the named person seeks employment related to the care of child(ren) or disabled adults, seeks to be involved in day care, seeks to adopt, seeks to be a foster parent, seeks employment in law enforcement or even seeks to participate in or coach a child’s extracurricular or sporting activity.
The CPS unit is an investigative unit. Anything said to that caseworker can be used against the investigated person in both a family court proceeding and criminal proceedings. It is important that any person involved with a CPS report seek the advice of legal counsel as soon as possible by an experienced and skilled family law attorney who can act to help you protect your rights and interests.
If CPS determines that they believe the accused person has committed acts or omissions that constitute the maltreatment of a child(ren), they may seek to file a neglect petition in family court, to remove children from the home of parents or caretaker, and to cause the accused person to participate in services and to be under the supervision and control of the Department of Social Services. If the children remain in foster care as a result of such removal for an extended period of time, the Department of Social Services may move to terminate parental rights and free the children for adoption.
If you have been accused of child abuse or neglect, or you are facing the possibility of having your children removed from your custody, it is extremely important that you obtain a qualified family law attorney to represent you as early in the proceedings as possible in order to protect your rights, your interests and your children.
If you would like to schedule a confidential consultation with one of Ms. Arquette or Ms. Buckley, kindly contact our office for a confidential consultation to answer your questions.