I hope to keep this list ongoing. If anyone would like to contribute to this list, please comment.
Here are some things I learned about the way Child Protective Service Social Workers and the agency as a whole, operates:
1. Be aware that if any social worker calls you to tell you that they are closing their investigation and you need to bring the child(ren) down to their office to sign some papers THIS IS A TRICK! THEY INTEND TO KIDNAP YOUR CHILD. They do not need a “signature” to close out anything!
2. Often, social workers will try to bluff you claiming that your drug test results were positive just to get you to fess up on yourself. Do not fall for this trick.
3. Social workers are “collaborative partners” with ALL OF THEIR CONTRACTED SERVICE PROVIDERS. Never trust any employee or doctor that CPS has paid to provide you “services”. Those “confidentiality” laws mean nothing when it comes to providing CPS with any and all information about you. They only use these laws against you. You have a right to all the information in your file regardless of where it is.
4. NEVER ADMIT TO THINGS YOU DIDN’T DO. This is where I messed up. I was constantly pressured to “take responsibility for my actions” during our first case. I was threatened to have my children removed if I didn’t say that I had a drug problem. I wish I would have stood my ground and hired an expert witness to testify as to the legitimacy of those drug test documents.
5. Never give the Hearing Officer a dirty look.
6. Never ever believe a social worker. If they say that they are recommending that the case be closed, maybe the paperwork says that but that doesn’t mean that is what they are really telling the Hearing Officer to do. This is just so you don’t give them a hard time when dealing with you for another six months.
7. Always ask the Hearing Officer in court for a copy of the Minute Orders. That way you don’t have to pay for it at the clerk’s office or go through the hassle trying to get one. They can print it out right there in the courtroom and hand it to you. When you get home, make a copy and send it to your lawyer because they are never seem to have a copy of it.
8. If the Hearing Officer orders CPS to do something for you and they do not do it, warn the social worker and their supervisor that you know you can file a document for them to be found in contempt. Give them a deadline of not more than 5 business days to comply with the Minute Order and follow up with a confirmation letter. Send this letter to the social worker, adding a “cc” to their supervisor and the agency Director.
9. Child protection workers are like cops. You have the right to remain silent because if you share your strengths and weaknesses with them they will use it against you to kidnap your children. – Pure Mad Angel
10. After you are threatened with the possibility of never having your children returned and coerced into cooperating with CPS’s “services”, act like you are “benefitting” from them. Pour the sugar on thick and tell them how much you are learning and how grateful you are. Patronize them but don’t make it seem too fake. Be polite and nice to the worker and never argue or yell at them.
11. Prior to every hearing you will receive a copy of the social worker’s report which is submitted to the court. Be firm when it comes to their lies and manipulations. Make sure you write a rebuttal and file it with the court. Make sure that you use the words “I object to..” and “the social worker’s statement is false”. There are different rules in every state as well as the county regarding the deadline to file a response. If you fail to meet this deadline, your statement will not be a part of the official record. Check with the clerk and ask what the deadline for filing this rebuttal (written in the form of a Declaration) with the court and serving it upon all other parties. Do not count on your attorney to serve the other attorneys, have someone 18 years old or older mail it to CPS’s attorney, (County Counsel), the other parent’s attorney and the child(ren)’s attorney (Minors Counsel). You should find these names and addresses in the first few pages of the report that you are rebutting. In essence, failing to object to the lies makes them sort of true as far as the record goes therefore, any appeal based on perjury will be denied.
12. Never invite a social worker or law enforcement into your home. This is if you do not have a current open CPS case. Unfortunately, if you refuse to let social workers in when they do their home visit it will have a very negative effect on your case and could result in the removal of your children. However, if the children are not currently placed in your home, they have no reason to be there unless it is to assess your home for the return of your children.