Child Custody Battles and Child Protective Services (CPS)
Don't Call Child Protective Services (CPS) to Try to Get Custody
Child Protective Services wasn't created to help parents gain custody from one another. The agency exists to remove children from situations where they're being abused, but once the kids are in CPS's hands, parents have NO control over where they'll be placed.
According to expert Alicia Bradley, licensed clinical professional counselor and adjunct professor:
"Being involved [with] CPS can be very traumatic for a child and have lasting effects. For the parents, CPS and the court system could recommend services be put in place for the family. If the court system is involved, some of these services may be required, which can make things more challenging for both parents. If required services are not completed, it could put someone's parental rights at risk."
This article will further discuss why you shouldn't call CPS during a custody battle and what you should do instead. I'll also share some tips on how to successfully co-parent.
What Happens When You Call CPS During a Custody Battle?
Divorced or separated parents often have child custody disagreements. Those that call Child Protective Services (CPS) on their ex are often dismayed with very negative unintended consequences.
Likewise, grandparents who think they can get custody by calling CPS are often disappointed and even traumatized when the children are given to strangers and all family ties are broken.
CPS caseworkers can play both parents or both sides against each other, put the child in foster care, terminate parental rights, and adopt children out to strangers! Beware!
Here's what will happen if you call:
- The CPS agent takes your call, listens to your complaints, and writes them down.
- The agent goes to visit the other parent. The other parent makes complaints about YOU. The agent writes those down.
- The agent now has a case file hidden from both parents that contains allegations against both of you. They can drop the case or pursue it. If you're lucky, they drop it. If you're not lucky, they take you to court and/or make you complete "services." You have to deal with the fact that your life is no longer your own; you are being told what you must do by government agents. It is very unpleasant!
- The CPS agent may make decisions that you believe are the wrong ones. Many parents who call CPS have their children taken away and given to the other parent. Some believe that complaining parents are "alienating" children from the other parent. They believe the habit of making CPS complaints is emotionally abusive to the children involved.
- Worse yet, the agent can decide that both parents are pathetic and neglectful and take the child to a foster home.
- While the CPS case is open, the parents have to complete a "service plan" that is anything but a service to you. It is used as a way to get more evidence against you.
- After keeping children in foster care for 15-18 months, the CPS agent can petition the court to terminate parental rights in a TPR hearing.
- After the TPR hearing, your child can be adopted out to strangers.
- States get bonus money from the federal government for adoptions, and adoptive parents get subsidy payments if they convince a doctor that your unhappy, traumatized child needs psychotropic meds and is, therefore, a "special needs" child.
Do You Think CPS Social Workers Want to Hear Your Complaints?
CPS is NOT the place to resolve a custody issue. That's a family court matter. CPS isn't your short-cut to adjudication.
If you call to complain about your ex, don't expect that the person taking your call will like, respect, or even believe you. The CPS worker will also have to investigate you, and may end up not liking it at all. There's no reason to think a call to CPS will help you get custody.
Over the course of my years as a CPS victim advocate, I've met and talked to many caseworkers online and off. Whenever the topic of parents who call CPS to complain about the other parent came up, they all had the same reaction—that it happens far too often and that the complaining parent is suspect. Usually, this is said in a manner that tells me the CPS caseworkers didn't like or respect parents that used the agency to try to get a child custody advantage over the other parent.
What Should You Do If CPS Gets Involved?
Matt Pinsker, an attorney, says that whenever the government gets involved in a custody battle, you should refrain from making any statements without first speaking with an attorney. The attorney can recommend a course of action, which might be to cooperate with an investigation and make statements.
Bradley agrees that you should seek out legal advice/support and also says the best thing you can do is cooperate with CPS, even if you don't agree. "Provide any evidence you have to support that you are not causing any harm to your child, but do not show resistance towards the caseworker."
Pinsker says that if your ex called CPS on you, your attorney might even recommend you file a police report against the person for making a fictitious claim. It all depends on the situation, the people involved, local laws, and policies of local law enforcement and prosecutors.
I also recommend that you check out by Jason Kauser. He isn't an angry parent by instead has worked as an attorney, a Guardian Ad Litem in Juvenile Court cases, a municipal court judge, and a police officer who investigated cases of child abuse and neglect. Social Service Gestapo: How the Government Can Legally Abduct Your Child (Salt Series)
From that perspective, he wrote this book (his only book) to inform the public that child protective services (CPS) social workers have become corrupt and are wrongly destroying families in America.
In this book, he explains your rights, including the fourth amendment right to refuse to allow government agents of any kind into your home without a warrant signed by a judge.
The book is really a booklet since it's only 46 pages long but is well worth the investment to gain more knowledge on how to protect your rights and the well-being of your children.
The proper place for a child custody dispute is in family court (divorce court)—not with a Child Protective Services (CPS) agent.
People Who Call CPS to Complain About a Relative's Child Often Regret It
Calling CPS is no way to handle a child custody battle. For the sake of the children, resolve to get along and make two happy homes for the kids. Frequently, I get comments on my site from parents or grandparents who called CPS thinking that they would get custody. However, they constantly tell me how terribly things turned out and how much they regret their decision to make that call. Mainly it is the children who will suffer forever because their parents couldn't get along.
Matt Pinsker, an attorney, says, "I have seen numerous demonstrably false CPS reports, police reports, rape claims, and other claims made all to gain leverage in custody situations. It is disgusting and an abuse of the system."
What to Do If You Believe You'd Be the Better Custodial Parent
Even if you're convinced that you would be a better custodial parent than the other parent, I recommend that you do NOT call Child Protective Services (CPS) to try to keep the other parent from seeing your child.
File a child custody modification petition in family court (divorce court) instead! (And you had better collect a lot of believable evidence.)
CPS agents, sometimes called social workers, though they may not possess a social work degree, can wreak havoc on your life, cause trauma for you and your child, and turn a bad situation into something much worse.
Did You Know?
Children are about ten times more likely to be abused in foster homes than in their natural family homes according to statistics gathered by the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS).
Why Should You Co-Parent and How Can You Do It Successfully?
The best way to deal with a child custody issue is to make friends with your ex so you can work together to make your child's future as happy and perfect as possible. I know this is difficult for many of you for a variety of reasons, and co-parenting can be extremely difficult, but it's actually the best thing for your child.
Here's how you can work together (see below for additional resources) and why it's important.
- Don't try to keep the child all to yourself. It took two to make this child. Every child deserves both a mother and a father. Keep your child's best interests at heart.
- You may be hurt by what your ex did to you. That's understandable. But that doesn't mean they should be cut out of your child's life. Put the child's needs first. Work on forgiveness issues and learn to share.
- Your ex may be uncooperative. Read about joint parenting. Work on including that other person in your attempts to establish a harmonious and mature joint parenting situation.
- Your ex may have abused you. If that's the case, a family court judge will have to make the decision on whether or not that person should have a role in custody or visitation. Respect the judge's decision and abide by it. If you can't prove (and I mean PROVE) that the other parent is dangerous to the children, you may not have a case for keeping them from custody and visitation rights.
- Admit to yourself that you are responsible for making the decision to create a new life with that other person. You are responsible. So take responsibility for creating a harmonious co-parenting atmosphere for your child to thrive in.
- If at all possible, reunite with the other parent. A two-parent family is the best thing for the children.
- Co-Parenting After Divorce
PDF file with advice for separated parents, from the University of New Hampshire.
- Co-Parenting 101
A blog about making a safe family for your child after separation of the parents, or divorce.
- How to Keep Children Out of the Middle
Maybe you could talk these points over with your ex and resolve together to do what's best for your child.
Who Is Reading This Page?
Which of these statements pertains to you?
- 20% I'm divorced or separated and having child custody problems.
- 10% I've called CPS because my ex is abusive.
- 33% I'm having problems with CPS because of my ex.
- 3% I'm considering divorce.
- 10% I'm considering calling CPS.
- 1% I work or have worked for CPS (or an affiliated organization or business).
- 1% I'm a lawyer, law student, paralegal, or other law office employee.
- 10% I'm just here to read out of curiosity.
- 12% None of the above.
Have You Called CPS to Make a Report? (100% Anonymous Poll)
Have you ever called CPS to file a report?
- 29% Yes
- 71% No
Reader Opinion on Child Custody and Child Protective Services (CPS)
Should CPS help parents get child custody from one another?
Yes, CPS should help divorcing —especially if the other parent isn't a good one.
No, that's not what CPS is for. Child custody cases should be decided in family (divorce) court.
My baby girl has been taken away from me over a weed charge. A small weed charge... I have my first status hearing tomorrow... Has anyone ever had their kids returned at the first status hearing? I am more than 75% done with my court orders. Never failed a drug test, have an apt, job doing everything right. I was even pro active in checking my self in rehab (yes for weed - Mae
I think CPS should leave people alone. - anonymous
Hi there, I’m the stepmom of two little girls and have been full time "mom" to them for 4 years. The bio mother had them apprehended 3 times, and the kids placed with the father and me. He got full custody last year and was told by the judge that she has a 1 year supervision order, and after the one year he gets to decide what to do. She wants shared parenting and a week to week basis but that isn’t going to happen. If she isn’t happy, nobody is happy... she is honestly crazy, she coached the kids to say things about us in front of cps workers, sent in anonymous letter of us being drug dealers, she actually cut our breaks! We are starting her unsupervised visits with the kids and hopefully overnights but for someone who wanted them so bad she doesn’t even have a bed for them. She is extremely high conflict, I get anxiety just talking to her. - Bonus mom
This agency needs to be shut down immediately. The incompetence, unprofessional and unethical behavior I have witnessed in dealing with these people is beyond belief. I honestly don't think they would know abuse or neglect if it came up and bit them in the ass. They have become pawns instead to abusive parents complaining against the parent abused, in retaliation for the abused reporting domestic violence to the police. They have actually placed a child in our case with the known abuser. - annonymous
See it all the time the divorce happens, one parent remarries, and all the sudden the ex and his new bride think the child would be better with them because they now have a step sibling or a new baby brother and or sister, so they want the child from the previous marriage. So the new step parent starts calling cps along with the other parent in hopes to get the child placed with them, when what really happens both parents lose their rights to their child, and the child gets foster homes for the rest of their lives, and is traumatized by being ripped away from their biological parents where they should be. So I would suggest do not call CPS on your ex unless your willing to lose your child all together. You don't always get what you want. And you have to remember at one time you loved your ex enough to have a child with them in the first place. In no way should you try to use cps to pull your child from the other parent because your bitter at your ex. The one that gets hurt is the child; they get interviewed every time a report is made. And news flash you may call cps anonymous but they know who is making the call. And if they see a pattern of the same parent or family calling on the other parent every few months you will not like the out come. - anonymous
No, CPS should leave their noses out of child custody cases! - anonymous
All CPS does is lie and destroy families. They don't help the children in need either but instead remove children that don't need to be removed from their homes. Also cps thinks they are the judge and can do whatever they want without the judge’s permission. Cps makes the choices before the court decides if the rights of termination are needed or not but always remember cps is NOT THE JUDGE!!!! - stefanie
Cps needs to stay the hell out of it. They are like the animal shelter; all they do is either kidnap your child or they adopt them out. I hate cps for the fact that nearly half of them have no kids so they have no idea what the hell they are doing. Someone gets mad at you and they call cps on you and what happens, cps is knocking on your door or your child’s class room door. Looking at you like you are a liar. They need to stop and deal with these messed up foster homes that they hire instead of messing with families. - Heather
Yes!!!! I’ve been trying for 3 years to get custody of my child since her dad got out from prison for a hate crime. He had a dui, and recently his son got removed by cps because they found scratches and bruises after my hex husband and girlfriend got in a physical fight, which ended up with her getting arrested. - anonymous
@Heather - Yes, it has become a snitch society - people of no integrity calling CPS, persecuting and harming children... CHILDREN... because they are angry at the parents. This is pathetic behavior and we've all been trained in it... in this civilization. People don't approach their neighbors maturely with problems; instead they think they must call in government agents for everything. Anything but direct and honest confrontation. And nobody is being trained to be forgiving unless they go to church to learn it from Jesus. But it's what the government wants; they want us to call them so they can stay in business and keep their jobs. Too many families are being destroyed because of people who want to see others suffer. - Linda BookLady
This is just to warn dads NOT to complain about the moms because dads are torn apart by dirty lawyers. My wife did every dirty thing she could to break me and my daughters bond and the courts allowed it, and to this day after 5 years I am still fighting to see my kid. Yesterday I was a dad and just because my x cheated with a police officer it's been hell and the pain is nothing I can explain. so dads, do not be afraid to go to social services when your wife uses the court system in her favor. I had my kid tell me quote, "Dad you think I don’t know what you are going through, but I do.” My kid is telling me she is suffering also, but to have a mother use her kid to gain what is in HER interest and not in her child’s interest isn’t right. - anonymous
CPS need to listen to the child. In our case, the mother never wanted the children had her different men around them after—even after the courts said no, she did it anyway. CPS told us to keep them informed with our concerns and what the children were saying only to use the emails against us. We appealed to higher court because cps let the mother give the children to her half sister, and more or less could care less what the father said, he had been trying to fight also for them. - anonymous
I think CPS should not exist because they are so terrible! They don't help you at all. They say they protect the kids, but it is the opposite ...they ruin the kids and they don't care. They traumatize the kids by putting them in foster homes w/ strangers that sometimes are sex offenders..foster homes are similar to prisons ’All Stranger's'!! So how is CPS helping those poor kids? They are just contributing to their abuse!! Especially mental abuse! I don't think if someone calls CPS that they should twist things around and make the caller the bad one! I am sure plenty of calls are 'bogus' calls but a lot are also true and that is CPS’s job to look into it and I don't think it is that hard if they go to neighbors, schools, friends, family, etc. You can find out something! But with that 'Stupid Policy' who is willing to report anything bad they witness about a child? NO ONE! If at the end CPS will go with the 'Abuser's Side" and make the good Samaritan look STUPID! Come on CPS it's not hard to see if a child is happy w/ one parent and unhappy w/the other parent! Stop being so cruel with those kids that are suffering! I do think many people just out of the blues will pickup a phone and falsely accuse someone, but that is your JOB CPS to look in to it! If you care for those poor innocent kids ..HELP THEM! I bet 80% of the calls are true! And kids end up with the wrong people because o of CPS’s Negligence! - anonymous
No CPS should not help parents who are going though custody battles, but if a parent says that a child has told them something bad, than they need to investigate, not say, “Oh, it is about custody.” Our grandchildren have lived with us all their lives. Their parents even signed over their children. Then, two years ago the parents wanted to work it out. The court gave us custody for six months until their parents got help. Then we were to return the kids, only for the mother to kick husband out three weeks after they got the kids back. Then, she screams abuse, and cps believes her and helps her—the hell with the husband. - anonymous
But on the flip side... my girl friend's son was granted to her ex husband because he had their house and income. She called CPS on him because he was leaving the 5 year old locked in his room with a training toilet, a sandwich, and bars on the windows; from anywhere from 2-12 hours. CPS went out twice, the ex's dad said he had been watching the boy, CPS left. Because they didn't get the neglect documented, the boy went through that, for the next 3-4 years. He also learned from his dad how to light house fires, vandalize, steal, lie... so now that his mother has him, she goes through CPS investigations and they threaten her. Yet they did nothing to try to correct the situation when it would have done the boy some good. - anonymous
CPS should STAY OUT OF IT unless the kid is in immediate danger. They do need more training to learn how to deal with complaining divorced parents. They need to stop retaliating against parents for making reports. Reports are not made to get custody, they are made out of concern for the child and CPS needs to back up, STOP, and realize their job is to look out for safety, bottom line, and stop retaliating against parents for being concerned about their own child's safety. How can CPS get angry at the person who made the report? This is awful. We are TOLD to REPORT any unexplained injury and NOT TO decide ourselves what is suspicious and what is not, as that is their job. Then what? They just retaliate against a parent for being concerned about their kid? Wow. That ought to be illegal or a new law should be passed to protect the parent making a report from CPS turning against them. - anonymous
Yes, because I called to get OUT of domestic abuse and they told me unless I was dead or dying in the hospital they wouldn't protect me or my children. I ended up in jail for defending myself one day and WAS ACQUITTED of my charges but lost my girls to the system and still am fighting for them! They insist on keeping my ex involved with all the paperwork with No regard to a 5-year restraining order which he breaks all the time. All I want to know is do I need to be dead to get justice for my girls and myself? - anonymous
Nope, not appropriate if there is a case involved. - anonymous
I think it would be nice to see support groups for those who have children who have been removed so they can encourage each other in the items that need to be accomplished as well as the down falls that come with going through the heartache of CPS and Foster Care. It would be a great benefit. I just lost my father and was hospitalized for seizures. CPS was all ready involved due to my ex. The seizures were the last straw for CPS. Now they are in Foster Care. - anonymous
CPS needs to stay out of families divorcing; let the family courts decide. - anonymous
No matter the length of time, anyone who ignores a child’s cry for help is responsible for that continuation of the cycle of abuse. Family secrets are never really secret, they are a distorted sense of pride, by those responsible. Teachers, doctors, clergy, neighbors, friends, and bystanders should never feel intimidated by wealth or influence of an abuser; a bully will continue to bully if they are never held responsible, and a victim will give up hope for justice if no one will respond to her efforts. - anonymous
Mandatory joint custody unless either parent proven abusive or a threat. - anonymous
Only if CPS were called in because a child complained of abuse by the other parent as was my case. I had no choice but to protect my children when they confided in me the abuse by their Father. - anonymous
CPS doesn't help at all it makes things worse. My granddaughter came to me about a problem. I reported it and now it's worst on her. I’m sorry I did it. I should of left it alone. I would never call CPS if I saw anything ever happen to anyone again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! - anonymous
No, I think its up to the parents and family courts. I do not agree with one parent using cps as a way of obtaining custody of a child as it seems to me this only makes the situation harder for the child’s best interest - anonymous
CPS should be disbanded and the workers investigated for all their criminal acts; they have been hidden from the 'real' courts of justice in the midst of child protection work. - anonymous
No, this is not what the organization was created for - anonymous
No, not at all... - anonymous
This is to "DAD" who commented on the other side today... Dad, I know you're angry and frustrated. I too have been a non-custodial parent in intense emotional pain, so I understand how you feel, but has calling CPS helped you at all? Going to CPS doesn't help the children, and has the potential to hurt them a great deal. What WILL help your children is your ability to communicate gracefully with their mother. Find ways to get over your anger. For me, there was a turning point at which I DETACHED from the pain and got on with my life in happier ways. I would use this time to move close to the children and get a good income going so when they have needs you will be there ready to help them. Improving on your situation and state of mind will be the best way to help your kids. And I'd get one of the co-parenting books mentioned on this page and find ways to make peace with your ex-wife ... in your case, "Joint Custody With a Jerk" might be a good place to start. I'm so sorry she was a jerk and ruined your marriage and has the upper hand with your children, but you can make things better on your end so that when your children need you - they'll be able to find you and get the help they need. - Linda BookLady
Look at the article on the bottom of the front page of FightCPS today - there's a video of a former family court judge telling how she was trained to do exactly what your judge has done - ignore moms and give custody to sexually abusive fathers! I hear about this frequently!!! Mothers in custody cases are being treated like dirt because judges are trained not to believe them or respect them. - Linda BookLady
Only if it can be proven that the child is in danger. - anonymous
No, there is no place for them and they use the parents to take the children as well as hitting the nuke button before anyone else.They are liars, delusional, paranoid, interfering, low-lifes who don’t have a sense of perspective thats part of there job criteria -no perspective and paranoid. No use to anyone - anonymous
Don't Be Fooled It Can Happen To You To... My Ex Did It To Me :0( And I Can't Believe He Could Go So Far As To Hurt Me in This Way Being I Have Lived My Life For Them.. & That Fact That He Let His Hate For Me Or Whatever It Is.. GO SO FAR AS TO HURT MY BABIES IN THIS WAY COMPLETELY DEVIATES US ALL..... HOW CAN HE SAY HE CARE FOR THEM AFTER DOIN SOMETHING LIKE THIS TO THEM OUT SPITE FOR ME? - anonymous
People are so blind. They strike in anger not thinking through consequences. There is probably a part of him that loves your children, and he'll be filled with regret for hurting them just to get back at you. Stay strong and work hard to get the children back home with you where they are loved. - Linda BookLady
No, more children will die with cps in control - anonymous
CPS should be abolished and a new system put in place to protect children. The system has failed miserably and can not show statistics to actually prove they have rescued more children than they have harmed. The statistics relating to the number of children raped, murdered, abused,emotionally traumatized, neglected and yes...missing while under cps care is alarmingly high. Citizens need to look very closely at these statistics as they tell the truth of the whole corrupt business....I say business because it is a business. Politicians play on the heart strings of the public by stating that all these laws aimed at preventing child abuse are in "the best interest of the child" what politician.. up for reelection is going to look bad by shooting down a bill that is aimed at the "best interests of children"? This is how they gain more and more power. Family courts are UNCONSTITUTIONAL courts of no record. CPS is a child trafficking operation and one of the most corrupt agencies under the government. Our children are sold, used, exploited to the point where they can not grow up to be functional in society. The list of parents who have been at the mercy of cps by no fault of their own and then committed suicide after losing their children to the system is alarming as well. We have had parents light themselves on fire, light housing on fire, shoot themselves and their children rather then leave their children behind in the system. Foster parent system is disturbing. We have interviewed so many children abused in foster care. We can not describe how horrific the foster care system is. It is like putting your child with a total stranger and praying they do not harm your child. It's a game of Russian roulette. CPS investigations need to be put in the hands of the police and should be conducted as any other felony investigation. Implementation of this would cost money however the government would free up billions of dollars wasted for unneeded services that cps forces on parents and children in their efforts to maximize government funds with service providers. The government would be freed from the hundreds of cps lawsuits for unconstitutional removals of children. Less children would be at risk in foster homes. Everyone is happy. So....in answer to the question.. CPS needs to be abolished. It can not possibly ever be in the best interest of the child since the money stakes tend to tip the scale and money is the main factor that plays out in all cps cases. Why in Gods name is real child abuse or real neglect not a felony crime? CPS breaks down doors seizing children on anonymous calls with scenarios such as ..the child ran naked outside. This is neglect? If I had a dime for every child who decided to strip off their clothes and run naked I would be rich. A four year old boy stuck his finger in a hole in the back of the three year old underpants....This is sexual abuse? A child contracted head lice...this means the family is dirty? The child is bullied in school so the mother doesn't send him....GO GET THE BULLY AND MEAN BUSINESS. Suspending a child from school does nothing to deter bullying....Go after these parents and get the bully some help he obviously needs and leave the child who is the victim alone. Parents who are poor and on assistance love their children less? No...they just don't have the money to defend themselves from CPS abuse..this is why they are the main targets of CPS. You don't often see CPS accompanied by the police as in most cases breaking down doors in these well to do neighborhoods... doesn't happen. If your poor, homeless, in a domestic violence situation they will take your children in a heartbeat...you are a target. CPS should never be involved in child custody during divorces. CPS abuse needs to stop. - anonymous
No social services should just have recommendations. They think they just do what's best for the children; they don't have a clue how much stress the child goes through though. I have a four year old who social services recommended stay in his nana’s care when all of the time I've done everything in my power to get my son back. I've had 2 more children since, and they let me keep them but still find excuses for me not to have my son back. Social services make a lot of mistakes and don't help people to be a family; they just tear it apart. I personally hate them ! - anonymous
No way!!! They are a pathetic bunch of workers. Lots of wasted salaries!!! I am a male with custody of my three children. Their mother was charged with abuse and neglect and on drugs. I did not contact these people, they stuck their nose into it. Now they are harassing me and threatening me. I want answers and a lawyer and don't know where to go. They are creating worse problems. - anonymous
I say neither. You really need to understand that both CPS and the Family Court work towards the same goal...MONEY!!!! Neither CPS nor Family Court give a rats A** about the well being of children. They both exist to blow taxpayers dollars and line their own greedy pockets. Know the truth DO NOT TRUST EITHER ONE!!!!!! Check out my lens on how to sue cps: http://www.squidoo.com/how-to-sue-cps - tomskids
No way! Although they should be there to protect the kids! In 2006 I noticed odd sexual behaviors by my then-husband near my kids. Essentially we separated. I left the situation thinking I was paranoid. Since both kids have complained to several people they felt safe with us as well as Va state police. On Oct 4th 2010 I made the worst choice I could have made. After several investigations I was frustrated when my daughter detailed the sexual and physical abuse her and her special needs brother have endured, she not only told myself but my mother " I know mom loves me and I will try again but nobody can help us". I contacted a counselor involved with my kids and CPS asking for help as I couldn't find it in my heart to drop the kids off to an abusive situation. Shortly after, I was arrested (big deal for an ARMY brat) and when my mom called the detective to meet for her arrest he refused to do so. I was charged with making a false complaint to VA state police and CPS and although I'm far from the first person to speak up for my kids I was the only one to be arrested. Afterwards a judge gave his opinion of a mental diagnosis in court leaving me to be threatened. On a later court date I was told "sometimes having no mother at all is better than having a mother like you." I had not spoken in this man's court and he continued to torture me in court as I said nothing. After that hearing on where it was deceided I was not to see my babies until they turned 18 I was confronted by this CPS worker who admitted her fear of being fired. She also said she firmly believes the kids are being sexually abused, but can't prove it. What a smack I'm the face when she said nothing in that hearing. Today is Dec 6 2011. I have not seen or spoken to my kids who live 2 miles away with the very man they accused since October 4,2010. Aside from having a broken heart I sit with a mess of thought not knowing where to start or even how to find a new lawyer as the previous one never spoke. I am helpless to nightmares of my daughter being molested or my son being held under water forcing seizures his fathers family denies he ever had. It is a living hell. Find another solution! Take children to a counselor or a doctor get an attorney and ask his advice. Also never walk into even a show cause or CPS hearing without the lawyer. We had never fought over custody. CPS had set up child care and encouraged me to revisit their dad's visitation I'm court as he only took the roughly half the time he was suppose to. I feel like a victim daily until my mother calls to let me know one of my kids has informed her they cried themselves to sleep. I'm under my ex's thumb all alone unable to do what a mom is suppose to do..... Protect her kids. - anonymous
absolutely not - anonymous
No! We have been threw it and CPS only made it worse. They don’t know the "REAL" us... They break Families apart and set us up for Failure. Hell NO!!!!! - Settingmeup
I think that cps needs to put themselves into our shoes as I am going to court my self. My Social worker has tried everything to keep my kids away from me. I have done nothing wrong at all and yet she tried to say I pricked my son with a pin while she was doing me contact! My son was asleep all day!! They try to remove your kids from you they don’t really care about the kids! She tried to say to me that I didn’t love my kids! I will fight in court until i get them back. - anonymous
Child Custody is a matter strictly reserved for the Court System, after all evidence and supporting documentation have been properly presented by both parties. CPS is to protect the child from Abuse and Neglect. Dr. James Dazouloute......Visit My Lenses As Well, For FREE Articles and Videos On Legal Issues......... - anonymous
No, CPS should not be used in place of the legal court system that is in place. Those that feel they are losing the court battle call CPS to retaliate. Then CPS is invited into your life and the life of the complaining parent and things get all messed up and the focus is taking off what is in the best interest of the child. - anonymous
No. The Department of Children's Services got involved with my husband for the purpose of helping him to receive custody of our teenager. My husband could receive all property and possessions and DCS helped my husband have me forced away from all property and possessions so he could solely possess these things. DCS had already taken our child out of the home and placed her into State Custody, but even so, my husband was allowed to have me, his wife, removed also. DCS should NEVER get involved in these things. - anonymous
OMG! No way.They do NOT do what is in the best interest of the children. If your or any child is being abused, seek private legal advice no matter what the cost! Borrow, beg or whatever you can manage, but do not turn over your abused child nor yourself to this government agency. They are not here to help! - anonymous
ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!! - anonymous
NO way. CPS workers know absolutely nothing about family dynamics and most know nothing about children in general and think it is horrid thing for a child to get dirty while playing. Unrealistic expectations and terribly biased. - anonymous
No, it should be a matter for the family court. As a Family solicitor in the UK, my experience is that many social workers are very biased, some of them have very strange views and some don't have their own children, so don't understand the nuances of family life, even if they have theoretical knowledge. I have known several disastrous interventions which have led to children being totally denied contact to a loving father for years, on their say-so. Social workers can be lazy or gullible and are easily influenced by their "favourite", and they can write outrageous reports with no substantive evidence, just a hunch or gut reaction. I have seen it happen to several decent people. On the other hand, not ALL social workers are unthinking illiterate idiots who think they are God. The excellent ones are as rare as hens' teeth. - Gloriousconfusion
No, they don’t know whats is best for anyone. The courts are the ones that should be the ones to make that type of decision. - anonymous
CPS told me that they do not take part in custody battles between parents. However, if I did not obtain a restraining order against my ex and/or full custody of my/our five children they would take all of my children away and place them in protective custody. My ex had jumped state and ran halfway across the country and although I filed the appropriate paperwork my inability to have him served, as well as my attorneys inability to have him served, cost me my children for failure to protect! - anonymous
No... Divorce is already tough. No need to be spiteful. It's just simply not necessary. - divorce4
Absolutely not! CPS often will only hear one person's version of accusations and choose who to side with without getting actual facts. They often take the word of the accuser as gospel and in my case, assist the complaining party in getting FULL legal and physical custody of the children, even though the complaining party (my ex & father of my 3 young children) could not even follow through with the original custody agreement that gave him (only!) 10 hours per month with the children. Again, in my case, CPS wrote a letter supporting my ex taking custody of my children, whom were with me 99.7% of the time since birth, before they even did an investigation into the accusations. It is very disturbing that a government agency who is supposed to help families stay together and be advocates for the "best interests of the children," often put the children through far more traumatizing situations and lifestyle alterations than the "harm" that the supposed accusations would have caused the children. It's atrocious and absolutely despicable the abuse of power that the agency uses and it definitely does NOT even PRETEND to be there for the best interests of the children! - anonymous
It depends on the circumstances. If one parent does drugs and/or is a drunk or abusive and the other is not, there is cause for concern. If there are grandparents available or family members who can raise the children they should be given the right without CPS interfering. CPS are interfering, pretending to care about children to get Federal support. Most have no children of their own even. Certainly no college degree in behavior patterns. Ours used to work at Alcoa. - anonymous
In my experience CPS case workers do not care about the best interest of the child. They get a complaint, come to investigate one time, are not psychologists, give you a case plan, but don't stick to their side of the plan. Then they take you to court, as and they have all the power in the world, and are allowed to make false accusations against you in court; they take your child from you without a bit of evidence. Unless you have plenty of money for an attorney or to pay off the judge, you don't stand a chance and your child is removed from home. I have to wonder what kind of training they get? I truly believe children need to remain with their biological parents unless there is true abuse and/or neglect. In our case our daughter loves her son very much. OCS gave custody to the paternal grandparents who are wealthy and were turning us in with false accusations that were never substantiated. He loved us very much. Now they have him and talk badly about us after we raised him from birth to 4 1/2 years old. We, as the maternal grandparents, are only allowed supervised visits with him at their discretion. Last visit (he's been with them about 20 months) he asked us when we were going to stop doing the bad stuff so that he could come home and that we didn't take good care of him. What is sad about this is he loves us and he will see through these people, but why do people have to confuse a child and do these things to him. We allowed them to have him for weekends when we had him at home, but now they are given all the power and do nothing but bad mouth us. We never did anything to these people. Now their drug addict son, the father, lives with them and their other son who he has stayed with for a week at a time, is in jail. He was arrested for drugs and his child was taken away. We don't want to call CPS because we don't want him taken and put into foster care. CPS needs to be overhauled - Better training and stricter laws they should be accountable for false accusations. This is purgery. In any other type of court they’d be in big trouble - Why aren't these people. Then you hear about the cases where they do nothing and a child dies or when the child is removed and put into foster care they are in an worse environment. These children end up confused and have emotional problems. I say do away with the way the system is run now. - anonymous
Not when there are attorneys and child counselors already involved. For example, Judge already orders temp emergency custody based on current evidence and soon after CPS complaint is filed with minor accusations such as 'kids aren’t allowed to stay home without adult supervision' (yes, I said without supervision), sudden concern of child's health in home without evidence of dr visits while in that parent's possession and/or school reports stating excessive absences or condition noticed by school official. and WHY wont CPS consult a child's counselor that has been building trust w/child and instead insist on disrupting their day by interviewing them multiple times at school? - anonymous
No! I believe there is a lack of understanding/education/training for CPS caseworkers. I also believe they are poorly compensated for the demands of what should be looked at as very important roles in child protection advocacy. Too many stories have emerged throughout the years of CPS not realizing blatant abuse during home visits. I advocate for the parents to try and put aside the anger and contempt for each other and attempt to see common ground for the children. Of course, that is not always possible and family court is the best forum for custody disputes. - anonymous
No because it causes an imbalance in the child's life. Often the child and grandparents suffer a loss of contact due to a spiteful narcissistic parent. - anonymous
No, No, and No. If a parent wants to take custody away from the other parent they should fork out the money for a lawyer to prove their case. - anonymous
I don't think there is a one size fits all answer. I worked for CPS, and in several facilities for children. Many parents need to lose parental rights, and others need the wake-up call to get it together. Is it easy on anyone-no. Do I think CPS should be manipulated by divorcing or separating parents no! - KathyMcGraw2