Question about Arizona CPS

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Latest post Fri, Aug 20 2010 11:59 PM by Bobster. 11 replies.
  • Sun, Jan 31 2010 2:59 PM

    • CarlyAZ
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    • AZ
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    Question about Arizona CPS

    Not sure if this is in the correct category...

    CPS came to speak with my 10 year old daughter at school last week. Asked her if she is fed and if she is home alone alot.  She answered yes she is always fed, and no, she is not home alone, and that's all I could get out of her.

    I called CPS to find out why, and the lady said that someone had anonomously reported me for neglect and several other accusations.  I think I know who it is, and it's in relaliation for something they THINK I did to them. Someone called CPS on this person, they think it was me, because I witnessed something, but it wasn't.

    Neglect
    Citation: AZ Rev. Stat. § 8-201

    Neglect or neglected means the inability or unwillingness of a parent, guardian, or custodian of a child to provide that child with supervision, food, clothing, shelter, or medical care if that inability or unwillingness causes substantial risk of harm to the child's health or welfare.

    The claims are totally bogus.  I work full time and make great money. My daugher is my entire life (no boyfriend,  I don't go out to bars, etc).  I have full medical coverage for both of us, she sees the dentist once a year, and is in the process of getting braces on her teeth. We get along great, and on weekends we ride our go-carts, quads, and do all kinds of kid stuff.  I coach her softball and soccer teams, she is in cheerleading, gymnastics, and takes music lessons twice a week.  She has more clothes than the entire neighborhood combined, and she is never home alone.  After school she goes to my friend Jennifer's house, and plays with her daughter until I pick her up after work. 

    The CPS woman will not tell me the exact claims made against me or who made them. She insisted on coming to my home tomorrow (Monday) after work. I have been told NOT to let her in my home no matter what, but won't that make me look guilty of something?  I have heard horror stories about this agency, and don't want to get mixed up with them.

    QUESTION:  Do I let her in, or insist that she get a warrant or court order?  Isn't it my 6th amendment right to be allowed to face my accuser, and be told who said this about me?  A phone call is heresay, so I doubt she can get a warrant from that, but do you think it would be in my best interest to just let her in and talk to her?

    They just took a family's children away for bathtub pictures recently in this state, so I know they are not working with a full deck. And without knowing what the claims are against me, it's hard to decide what to do. Please any advise is appreciated.

    Thanks

  • Sun, Jan 31 2010 3:16 PM In reply to

    Re: Question about Arizona CPS

    "I have been told NOT to let her in my home no matter what, but won't that make me look guilty of something?"

    Unless the person(s) who told you not to let CPS in are attorneys then I would not recommend taking that advice.  While I agree that CPS in most states is not run well if you refuse to cooperate under the law they can assume the child is in danger and remove her.  NOT what you want.  You can call an attorney first thing tomorrow morning and run it past them as to what level you should cooperate. 

    "Do I let her in, or insist that she get a warrant or court order?" 

    Typically CPS doesn't need a court order since they are presumable acting in the best interest of the child.  If you play too hard ball with her then she can come back with the cops and gain entry to verify the child is not at risk.

    "Isn't it my 6th amendment right to be allowed to face my accuser, and be told who said this about me?"

    The 6th ammendment applies to criminal cases not CPS.  In order to encourage people to report real abuse they are guaranteed that their report is held confidential and without retaliation.  An unfortunate side effect of that is people who use the system for their own amusement and abuse of others.

    "A phone call is heresay, so I doubt she can get a warrant from that, but do you think it would be in my best interest to just let her in and talk to her?"

    Not when it comes to child abuse allegations.  They are required by law to investigate all reports that come in.  Since your daughter backed up her living situation the most likely scenario is that they are going to confirm the living situation is as the child says and the allegation will be labeled unfounded.  It is also your opportunity to tell them that you suspect that this is retaliation from XYZ person who falsely believes you reported them to CPS for abuse.  While they may not confirm that is who called if the names match up with their file and your house is in order and the child well cared for it does make the person look way more suspicious than you.

    I am not an attorney or a fan of some of their tactics but I think you have more to lose by not cooperating than by a quick interview.  Check with local counsel though.  They know your local CPS people.

    "That's just my opinion, then again I might be wrong."  Dennis Miller

     

  • Sun, Jan 31 2010 3:36 PM In reply to

    • CarlyAZ
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    • AZ
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    Re: Question about Arizona CPS

    Thanks.  I haven't spoken to an attorney, and didn't think anyone would speak to me without a retainer.

    I was told this by friends, and www.fightcps.com.  They are adamant about not letting them into your home,

    no matter what.  They say that once you do, CPS can make up any old lie they want, and they do that often.

    I have nobody to help me, it's just my daughter and I.

  • Sun, Jan 31 2010 4:20 PM In reply to

    Re: Question about Arizona CPS

    I would caution you against paying attention to friends and that website. That website operator seems to have an axe to grind with CPS and is certainly not a lawyer.

    I'm no lawyer either, but the one thing I suggest to you is that you have a friend present to make a dated videotape the CPS visit and interview from the moment CPS knocks on the door to the moment CPS drives of.

    That way CPS can't make up anything about what went on.

    I also suggest you make copies of whatever documentation you have about the dispute you are having with the person that you think made the call and give the copies to CPS. Documents go a lot further than talk.

     

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • Sun, Jan 31 2010 5:25 PM In reply to

    Re: Question about Arizona CPS

    You should meet with the worker , in your home, and let them finish their mandated investigation. If you don't cooperate,  the court will become involved- right now the court is not involved ;  all CPS is doing is investigating an allegation- the majority of investigations are closed without any further action once investigated. You have no right to know who filed the allegations against you.  Not knowing what the allegations are should have nothing to do with your cooperation.

    The problem with CPS is not that they make up allegations out of the air- the problem is that they will error on the side of safety without much evidence or much training ( such as the bathtub pics).

    The result of not cooperating is not that a warrant will be issued but your child could be taken if there are allegations that make a prima facia case of her being at risk and your failure to cooperate or allow CPS to investigate interferes with CPS able to finish their investigation.

    I don't disagree with having a friend there- I strongly disagree with trying to tape the worker. 

  • Sun, Jan 31 2010 7:31 PM In reply to

    Re: Question about Arizona CPS

    Also please stay away from websites such as fightcps. Absolutely no good will come of it. It's an extremely biased websites totally 100% against CPS. Remember there are 2 sides to every story.

  • Mon, Feb 1 2010 1:16 PM In reply to

    • Ford
      Lawyer
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    • Joined on Thu, Mar 16 2000
    • Posts 12,797

    Re: Question about Arizona CPS

    If your residence is appropriate, you have little to worry about.

    CPS is BUSY.  They don't need to be creating fictional cases where there is no abuse or neglect.

    CarlyAZ:
    Isn't it my 6th amendment right to be allowed to face my accuser, and be told who said this about me?

    Only in a criminal prosecution, at trial.  They don't have to tell you who reported this because some people would go after the reporting party.  The law protects reports to encourage people to report suspected ause.

  • Mon, Feb 1 2010 3:03 PM In reply to

    Re: Question about Arizona CPS

    My post to you was removed for some reason but chances are if you meet with the CPS worker and tell the whole truth, this will be the last you see of them. They are obligated to investigate, and many claims such as this are bogus. If you refuse entry and ask for a warrant, that won't look good either. If you cooperate, this will be dealth with much faster. I am in AZ and familair with CPS because I'm a CASA.

  • Tue, Feb 2 2010 5:01 PM In reply to

    • CarlyAZ
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    • AZ
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    Ok [+0+] ANSWER about Arizona CPS !!!

    Thanks Guys!  You all were 100% correct!  She came last night, I had around 10 kids in the house, garage and front yard playing (the neighborhood plays at my house cuz I have the coolest toys).  I let her in, she read me the crazy allegations... I laughed a little, and so did she!  (It was obvious that they weren't true).  I took her to my daughter's rooms (bedroom and office), she looked in the kitchen cupboards and apologized for the inconvenience.  She was very nice, and the allegations are officially "unfounded".  I think she was there for less than 10 minutes. 

    I am soooo happy I didn't go the fightCPS route.  Even if I had intended to, the moment I met her I would have changed my mind.  She was way cool, and not at all what I had expected. 

    Thanks for the great advise!!!  Ok

     

     

  • Tue, Feb 2 2010 5:07 PM In reply to

    Re: ANSWER about Arizona CPS !!!

    Good job! I am very familiar with AZ, we had them at our house too for no reason but from abuse that my step-daughter encountered at mom's house. She came to live with us and CPS did a quick interview with us, inspected the house and closed it.

    CPS must investigate this, even though it was bogus. That is their job and they would not be doing it if they at least did not investigate. CPS is around for a reason and most of the time they do a good job. Not always, but most.

  • Tue, Feb 23 2010 8:55 PM In reply to

    • dollygenx
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    • AZ
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    Re: Question about Arizona CPS

    Good evening, here some info directly from Arizona's CPS website, https://www.azdes.gov/....

    It says,  

    How CPS Investigates Reports of Child Abuse

    "The law requires Child Protective Services (CPS) to investigate appropriate reports of suspected child abuse or neglect. To do this, the law allows CPS to talk to alleged victims and their siblings without parental permission. Often this occurs at school because it is a neutral environment. All CPS records are confidential. A CPS representative may visit the family home to discuss the report and to talk about the family situation. At the time, suggestions may be offered regarding help that is available to assist the family.

    Parents and other individuals have the right to refuse to be interviewed by the CPS representative, to provide information and refuse services offered. However, CPS may proceed with the investigation and file a dependency petition in the juvenile court when it is necessary to protect a child."

    Just to rest your mind a bit, I have had some experiences with CPS. We had a couple of separate instances where our kids were investigated because of someone's concern. My young boy back in the day kept falling asleep in class and so it caused concern. (My son had seasonal allergies & eczema. Allergies would make him cranky & tired, but the eczema would sometimes make him scratch at night where it interrupted his sleep). Anyways, CPS interviewed my kid at school without my knowledge, but they called us to come to our house to hear our side of the story. She used her reasoning & determined that my son was fine. The CPS lady was also very friendly. She gathered her info & told me she didn't see any problem. She told me her report would be turned in & that the case (complaint) would be dropped. 

    Then a few years later there was this issue with my teen daughter. She became really rebellious, violent, using drugs & not wanting to follow our home rules. She made family life miserable. We had the cops out several times for assulting us. To make a long story short, she made some false accusation, in which CPS was called out. CPS soon found out that we had made all kinds of reports to the police. CPS interviewed the principle from my daughter's school & her siblings & found out my daughter had these kinds of behaviors at school too. CPS offered to help us with our daughter because we had no avenue to turn to, much less the money for counseling. We were very fortunate to have CPS offer to help us because they were able to provide my daughter with drug rehabilitation (she was addicted to meth). My daughter has been clean by choice for 2 years now. They had also provided counseling for her (if we wanted, which we chose 'cause we had nothing to lose but our daughter's life) and help us get our daughter into a program that helps her with her anger. The program she attends is a girl school up north. She stays by choice without running away. She gets good grades, learns coping skills, takes anger management classes and she is learning to develop people skills in which she is able to get along with her peers and people around her and so forth. She also has extra curriculum activities such as hiking and horseback riding.

    Never once did CPS make us feel scared or incompetent. I really felt they were here to help us and help our family. They were not one sided. If it wasn't for CPS I believe my daughter would have died on the streets or by a drug overdose. Also, they are helping us by giving her a chance to have a normal life down the road. We don't want her harming people out there and ending up in jail. :) So far CPS has been very professional, open minded & yet empathetic. Also, since my daughter has been in this program I have met all kinds of teen girls that have been helped by CPS. Some of those girls in the program up north had been in gangs & were prostitutes. Every one of them feel they have a purpose in life now and feel they can succeed. Some of them have parents who care but couldn't make any headway. These families have been reunified. This was all CPS' doing...because they had access to avenues to help families and children. 


  • Fri, Aug 20 2010 11:59 PM In reply to

    • Bobster
      Consumer
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    • AZ
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    Re: Question about Arizona CPS

    I understanding I am submitting this reply too late. I recently worked for CPS in Az. for about 5 years as an ongoing case manager. My job was to try to reunify children with their parents after they were removed due to abuse or neglect. I highly advise parents to cooperate with the CPS investigator! Do not make yourself appear guilty. During my time employed I did not have one case that appeared to me that the children were not removed by an investigator without merrit. The CPS employees are way too busy with large case loads to seek to remove children that are safe with their parents. Perhaps in a couple of my cases I would have preferred to reunify the family a month or so sooner than I was permitted. This was due (I believe) to supervision wanting to be sure that the parents were "on their feet" enough so the children would not have to be removed a second time. The Department also attempts to keep the children with their parents by offering in-home dependencies when deemed appropriate. An in-home dependency is when the family remains together and are offered services to reduce the risk to the children.

    In summary, cooperate fully. But the idea of taping CPS or any law enforcement I believe has merrit as we are all falible humans with biases.

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