TAFA'S FOSTER PARENT'S PAGE
IF ALLEGATIONS ARE MADE AGAINST YOU:
You will be contacted typically anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 years after the investigation has begun. You will be told nothing, and you will be treated like a criminal. You will be presumed guilty. The first contact typically will be when CPS comes, usually at night, to pull children from your home, or you may be called in to the police department and still told nothing. You will feel totally isolated. Your placement agency will not support you. (They're too busy covering their own backsides.)
Do's and Don'ts if you're investigated
- 1. Do not talk to anyone.
- 2. Do not take a lie detector test.
- 3. Do not answer any questions.
- 4. Do not make CPS mad.
- 5. If CPS or the police take the child, or you are charged with any crime against a child, you need to retain a competent lawyer.
- 6. Do ask what you're being investigated for.
- 7. Tape record all conversations with CPS case workers and the police. If you do not have a tape recorder, make sure that you have a reliable witness at all meetings, interviews, and telephone conversations.
- 8. If you have a private doctor or psychologist, have them examine the child if you are ordered to have the child examined by a doctor not of your choosing.
- 9. After all meetings, interviews, and telephone calls, write a certified letter (keep a copy) to the person with whom you spoke. List the main points discussed and end the letter,
- 10. TAFA strongly recommends that if you did nothing wrong, DO NOT plea bargain (including no-fault). Many times, on the surface, these plea bargains seem like the easy way out, but are really only the beginning of a nightmare for you and your family.
- 11. Know your rights. This is very important, if you expect to win. Learn as much as possible about the laws in your state and the requirements CPS must fulfill to recieve their funding (for example, avoid placement of children in foster care and reunite the family as quickly as possible).
- 12. Join TAFA.There is strength in numbers, and the emotional support availible through joining with others who have similar experiences will prove invaluable. Write letters to your caseworker's supervisor, CPS director, county or state supervising agency--anyone who has responsibility to provide proper services. If you do not get a satisfactory response, contact your legislators and news service.