When CPS (child protective services) has removed a child from the home, generally it is presumed to be for very good cause. Even under such circumstances, these moments (for both parent(s) and child alike) can be an exceedingly frightening time.

Situations such as these overwhelmingly occur in low-income families and the parent(s) involved are likely overwhelmed by the circumstances they’re in. Hopefully, child protective services has seen fit to provide the affected parents appropriate information with which to take action to get reunited with their child(ren) and back from CPS safely. You want to ensure that your parental rights are not terminated by child protective services without an opportunity to correct whatever conditions precipitated their removal.

The first order of business would be to obtain an attorney knowledgeable about CPS and child protective services cases. In situations where the parents cannot afford an attorney, the court will assign one to your case. If you’ve been given your Temporary Custody Notice, it will provide information about contacting one. Further, the information should also be included on the Preliminary Protective Hearing notice that is issued by the child protective services (CPS) case manager. All discussions should be made with your attorney. This means everything, including any disagreements you may have with the CPS investigation, observations, and conclusions. Your attorney has the knowledge and experience to argue your case for you. Don’t try it alone. This is a life-affecting situation so let your attorney take your concerns and make the arguments on your behalf. Also, don’t forget, regardless of what information you may or may not have been provided by CPS, you may ask the court for an attorney at any time during proceedings.