LawRefs Customized Legal Information
Attorney Renee C. Walsh

Child Protective Services Interview of Parent Alleged to Have Abused Child

As an attorney, I observed a CPS Interview of a person who was alleged to have committed an act of child abuse or neglect. I was impressed by the social worker in that she appeared to be truly focused on providing the client and providing guidance. Improvements were suggested rather than directed. The experience was positive.

For those who have not participated in one of these, the interview started off with gathering “basic information” starting with whether the client was having financial difficulty and/or health concerns. This makes sense when the goal is to provide helpful services to those in need. Next, the interviewer asked about the client’s present residence and history of residence. She moved on to religious preference, and prior CPS involvement; and then to asking about the client’s family history – number of marriages, length of marriage. It was important for her to know whether the client was abused or neglected as a child and whether there was a history of domestic violence. The interviewer also asked about the client’s support system and other children for whom the client is responsible. Finally, the interview turned to the child involved and the alleged act of neglect or abuse.

I admit that I had concerns before the interview started that the CPS worker would be biased against the client, a man, and that she would also be critical and judgmental. I did not focus on that however, but rather on the goal to protect the client and the child involved. I was so thankful and pleased for the experience and the positive result.

Additional Resources
Field Guide to CPS Interviews
Parent’s Guide to Working with CPS
Guide For CPS Caseworkers

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