CPS (Child Protective Services) comes after you, you need to know how to fight CPS in Virginia or Maryland and win. When CPS in Virginia/Maryland contacts you for the first time, you may be asking “Why me”. This is not the time to be asking “Why me”. This is the time to get an aggressive CPS lawyer near you to fight CPS. If you have a CPS case in Virginia or Maryland and need help, call our office for help. We have office locations near you. We have offices in Fairfax & Richmond, Virginia and an office location in Bethesda, Maryland. Our CPS lawyers regularly fight Child Protective Services in Virginia in Fairfax, Loudoun, Arlington, Alexandria, Prince William & Rockville, MD. Our Maryland/Virginia CPS lawyers have experience defending clients who are fighting CPS in Virginia and Maryland. Child Protective Services is a part of the Virginia & Maryland Department of Social Services, a state agency, set up by law to make sure children are safe and to help families create a safe environment for their children. It responds to reports of child abuse and neglect by conducting family assessments and investigations. In addition to this, supportive services may be provided to families for which children are assessed to be at risk. When investigating a report of abuse or neglect, CPS seeks active involvement from the children’s parents and other family members to help solve issues that lead to abuse or neglect.
Unfortunately, sometimes when CPS gets a complaint in Virginia or Maryland, they can become overly aggressive and their representative can get very confrontational. The best thing you can do when contacted by a CPS worker in Virginia/Maryland is to immediately call an experienced Maryland/Virginia CPS lawyer who knows how to fight CPS and win. Our Maryland/Virginia CPS lawyers understand that someone trying to take revenge against you may be filing a false report.
Once we get CPS off your back in Virginia or Maryland, we can show you how to get back at the person who made the false report.
Maryland/Virginia CPS caseworkers often threaten parents that they must allow them into the home or face dreadful consequences.
IMPORTANT TIP – YOU DO NOT NEED TO TALK TO A CPS WORKER WHEN THEY CALL YOU OR COME TO SEE YOU. YOU ALWAYS HAVE THE RIGHT TO A CPS LAWYER : DO NOT BE FRIGHTENED BY CPS
Further threats include the requirement that family members participate in services such as substance abuse treatment or parenting classes or else their children will be removed from the home. Not wanting the government to take away their children, people often agree to cooperate with services even when they are not reasonable or needed. This may be a horrible mistake.
Why? Because quiet often, provided the client has the financial means to retain an experienced Maryland/Virginia CPS lawyer who know how to fight CPS and win in Virginia & Maryland, the client can get the benefit of the Maryland/Virginia CPS attorney’s network of experts who can provide the services the client may need without the need for the government to get involved in their lives.
The harsh reality is that if you let CPS into your lives, it may take years to get them out of your life. The amount of stress and headaches you may suffer as a result of that may be devastating.
There are many reasons that CPS may get involved in your life. If allegations arise over drug addiction, violence, neglect or abuse, it is the duty of the state to get involved and confirm the well-being of your children, but just because you are being investigated, it does not mean that you are without rights.
The best way to protect the non offending parent and the child victim from the inherent risks and abuses of the CPS system is to stay as far away from CPS as possible. If you are a mandated reporter or any individual wishing to make a child abuse report, we understand that you may choose to make your report to law enforcement, police or sheriff, or CPS.
If you have been charged with child abuse and the child is in the care of child protective services in Virginia or Maryland, do not risk going to court without a Maryland/Virginia CPS lawyer who knows how to fight CPS. In the event that CPS makes a finding against you, you have the right to appeal the agency’s ruling. Appealing a finding is not easy and understanding what the process is to appeal their findings can be difficult. Talking to a Maryland/Virginia CPS attorney that fights CPS regularly and who understands the process may be your best option. One should keep in mind that the best offense is a good defense.
The Maryland/Virginia CPS lawyers in our law firm have the necessary experience to assist you in your fight against CPS in Virginia or Maryland. We will do our best to help you get the best result possible based on the facts of your case.
If you need to fight a CPS administrative finding of abuse or neglect against you, below is the process in Virginia.
Appeal Child Protective Services Finding Virginia
There are three level Child Protective Services (CPS) appeals:
- First Level of Appeal (informal local conference).
- Second Level of Appeal (administrative or state level hearing).
- Final Level of Appeal (appeal to circuit court).
After the Department of social services conducts an investigation, a letter/communication is sent regarding possible abuse, the letter also informs that appeal may be made within 30 days of receiving the letter, here begins the first level of appeal.
The First Level of Appeal is an informal conference held by the Director of Social Service. Generally, in such appeal, the appellant requests amendment of record from founded abuse to unfounded. On the order of the Director, the appellant has a right to a hearing to the Commissioner that is the Second level of the hearing. This hearing is conducted by a hearing officer appointed by the Commissioner. From the order of the Commissioner, the appellant has a right to appeal to the Circuit Court which is the Final Level of Appeal.
A dispositional order entered pursuant to Virginia Code § 16.1-278.2. is a final order from which a hearing may be taken in accordance with Va. Code § 16.1-296.
Procedure to file appeal:
The appeal to the circuit court over the dispositional order should be filed within 30 days from the date of service of the hearing officer’s decision (the date that the decision was received or the date that the decision was mailed, whichever occurs first).
A written notice of appeal to circuit court with the Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Social Services should be filed.
Within 30 days after filing the notice of appeal to circuit court with the Commissioner, a written petition of the hearing to the circuit court with the appropriate circuit court should be filed.
A copy of the petition for appeal to circuit court must also be served on the Commissioner.
The proceeding is a review of the record, not a de novo (new) hearing. Only the appellant in a Child Protective Services case may appeal the hearing officer’s decision. The agency cannot appeal the decision, nor can the victim or the victim’s parents if they were not the appellants.
Once a valid Notice of Appeal and a Petition have been filed, the state appeals office prepares two copies of the entire hearing record, including a transcript of the hearing.
If a court reporter was provided by either party, the transcript of the court reporter is used.
The records are submitted to the Office of the Attorney General and the appeal is assigned to an Assistant Attorney General who files one copy of the record with the appropriate circuit court for that jurisdiction.
Stay of appeal process when the appellant appeals and a simultaneously criminal charge is filed against him:
Whenever an appeal of the local department’s finding is made and a criminal charge is also filed against the appellant for the same conduct involving the same victim as investigated by the local department, the hearing process shall automatically be stayed until the criminal prosecution in circuit court is completed. During such stay, the appellant’s right of access to the records of the local department regarding the matter being appealed shall also be stayed. Once the criminal prosecution in circuit court has been completed, the local department shall advise the appellant in writing of his right to resume his appeal within the time frames provided by law and regulation.