One of the notable entities that protect children in the US is Child Protection Services (CPS). It is actually a governmental agency operational in several states in the US. CPS specifically falls under the social services department. CPS protects children who are either at risk or are actively being abused. It can be emotional, sexual, or physical abuse. Anyone can report anything they observe regarding children’s rights. It goes without saying that there are many children who are protected by the CPS. However, there are also cases when someone makes false accusations to CPS. This is more often than you think. Let us discuss what to do if someone makes false accusations to CPS.
Table of Contents
1. Understand What Is Child Abuse Or Neglect
For the most part, this is universal, but there can be slight variations from state to state. That is why it is important to take time to know what is considered child abuse or neglect. Get to know what is considered risk of child abuse or neglect too. By knowing this you can surely know when you are being falsely accused. This is important because you might think you are being falsely accused when there are merits to the accusations. Any form of emotional, sexual and physical duress is considered child abuse or neglect.
Putting in or not extracting a child from situations with such duress is again child abuse or neglect. Any poor medical care, from health risks to actual ailments is considered child abuse or neglect. Depriving children of their basic human rights is abuse or neglect. Exposing children to drugs is also a form of child abuse or neglect. These are just overviews but you need to be well informed on what constitutes child abuse or neglect. You can even engage CPS or legal experts to get comprehensive information on this.
2. Seek Legal Counsel
One of the saddest things is that whilst being innocent you can still suffer. Accusations, especially regarding children’s welfare are often taken seriously. That is why if someone makes false accusations to CPS you must immediately seek legal counsel. An attorney can expertly guide you on what to do and what not to do. This should be the first to do. Do not even attempt to confront the perpetrator because that can escalate things.
Remember that in dealing with false accusations you can act irrationally out of emotion. That is why you should avoid any confrontation. Find an attorney and be guided accordingly. You can approach an attorney that specializes in such cases. Alternatively you can approach organizations that help the falsely accused pertaining to child welfare. An attorney helps prove your innocence and can also help you sue the accuser if necessary.
3. Engage Family And Friends
When someone makes false accusations to CPS investigations are often conducted. Such investigations can be conclusive and absolve you of any wrongdoing. In some scenarios the case might have to be resolved in court. It is important to know that either way, there tends to be a need for witnesses. That is where your family and friends can come in. If the allegations are truly false, you will need to engage them. The thrust will be to have family members or friends who can testify to cement your case in court. Ensure they are willing; do not coerce or manipulate them into being witnesses. They can opt out at some point due to that. This is pertinent because not having watertight witnesses in court can hurt your case even when you are innocent.
4. Be Sober-Minded And Consistently Truthful
Saying you have been falsely accused is not enough. When some makes false accusations to CPS, your credibility will be under attack. It will take you being consistently truthful to protect your credibility. It is best to find out the full details of what you are being accused of. That way you can dismantle the accusations with your truth. You have to gather up evidence to substantiate your position. Your attorney will help you in this process of collecting evidence. Your truth should be backed up by evidence or proof.
That is why witness statements are important. No wonder you have to engage potential people who can stand as witnesses. This will help ensure your account of events is consistent with their witness accounts. Witness accounts themselves should be consistent as well. In all that you are asked your statements must remain consistent. It also helps your credibility to cooperate with CPS authorities. Always be level-headed. Never let your emotions get the better of you. Investigations following accusations made to CPS can be lengthy and gruesome.
5. Inform Or Involve Your Attorney During Every Step
If it is understandable that legal matters are usually intricate. As a novice you might not know everything. That is why you must always involve or inform your attorney. For instance, there will be times when a CPS case worker may visit you. They might come to see you, your home, and even the child or children in question.
Before allowing them you must consult your attorney first. There might also be times when you can be required to take polygraph tests. These are just examples of scenarios where you will have to decide to or not do something. It is prudent in everything to only do anything after getting a green light from your attorney. This is meant to protect you and the veracity of your case.
It is important to know this information and act accordingly. Cases when someone makes false accusations to the CPS quite common. Some cases can stem from honest mistakes or wrong observations. Then some cases stem from someone seeking to tarnish your image. For instance, tensions from divorce regarding child custody can fuel false accusations to the CPS. Thus, do not always think you are safe. Whilst completely innocent someone can make false accusations to the CPS. Be informed and do the needful.