Child Protective Services (CPS) can’t tell a valid report of neglect or abuse from an invalid one – until they look a bit closer at each situation. That’s why home visits are often part of an open case.
During a CPS home inspection, the caseworker typically reviews a number of different things in the child’s house to determine if they’re living in a safe situation. If you’re nervous about an upcoming visit from CPS, knowing more about what to expect may help you prepare and ease your mind. Here’s what you should know:
What sort of things will the CPS caseworker evaluate?
Every situation can be a little different, but the CPS worker is usually concerned with the basics. They may want to know things like:
- What are the interpersonal relationships of everyone in the household?
- Does anyone in the household have a felony charge or conviction?
- How much healthy food is available for the children?
- Do the children have proper beds and bedding?
- Do the children have enough seasonal clothing available?
- Are there any drugs, alcohol, weapons or dangerous chemicals in the open?
- Is the home reasonably clean?
- Are there obvious safety hazards in the home, like insects or rodents?
- What’s the family dynamic like?
CPS workers expect to see normal families, so you don’t have to keep a spotless home – but you do need to make sure that it’s clean enough to not give the caseworker safety concerns. You may need to be prepared for the caseworker to peek into your cupboards, fridge, bedrooms and other (normally) private areas.
Dealing with CPS can be nerve-wracking, even if you know the allegations against you are false. You may need to get experienced legal guidance by your side.