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So, you need to know what to do when CPS lies. It is a very tough position to be in — for a number of reasons. First and foremost, if you’re at the center of a CPS investigation, you could be at risk of losing custody of your children or even facing criminal charges. Second, you have very little power to fight against a government entity that refuses to tell the truth. That said, the situation is not completely hopeless. You do have options and you can seek out truthful information. So, let’s take a look at what to do when CPS lies.
*Disclaimer: we are not lawyers and this article does not constitute legal advice. We only hope to provide you with tips to help you in the event that CPS is not telling the truth. If you are in need of legal aid related to an open CPS investigation, be sure to check out or free legal aid directory.
Why would CPS lie?
It’s important to remember that Child Protective Services (CPS) is a giant government entity that has distinct agencies in all 50 states. Sometimes paperwork gets misplaced and mistakes are made. This can make it seem as though CPS is lying when in reality it’s just a clerical error. However, there are many cases in which a CPS representative could lie.
The most common example is a caseworker making false or misleading claims in an official report. This can be extremely detrimental to you and the welfare of your family. For example, if a caseworker claims that they witnessed you behaving violently or erratically, it could convince the state to remove your children from your custody.
This begs the question: why would a CPS caseworker lie? The reasons can vary widely. Some caseworkers are more vigilant and aggressive in their pursuit of “justice,” even if that means stretching the truth. Alternatively, a caseworker may just not like you. They could decide that you deserve punishment for one reason or another, so they sprinkle a few false statements into their report.
Finally, it’s important to remember that there’s a big difference between a lie and a misstatement or a misunderstanding. In many cases, the truth can be somewhat subjective. The way you view a situation or an action can be completely different from the way a caseworker sees it. Thus, the statements in a report may differ from your experience of events that took place.
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What to do when CPS lies: 4 actionable steps
Now that you have a better understanding of why CPS can (and does) lie, it’s time to learn about some actionable steps you can take to find out the truth and ensure that your name does not get dragged through the mud unjustly.
Contact a Supervisor
Just about every business or government agency has a chain of command; Child Protective Services is no different. If you find yourself on the phone with a stubborn or untruthful caseworker, simply ask to speak to a supervisor. Pleading your case to an authority figure at CPS can help you tell your side of the story. This way, the supervisor can act as an impartial judge of the situation and work to find out what lies have been told. Plus, we’re sure you’d rather clear up any lies or misunderstandings with one phone call, as opposed to taking CPS to court.
Create a Declaration of Facts
A Declaration of Facts is an official document in which you state the facts of your case. If you’re making this in relation to an untruthful caseworker report, it’s important to address each lie or misrepresentation one by one. Keep it as brief as possible, without glossing over any important details. There’s a chance that a judge could end up reading your Declaration of Facts, so if you write a 30-page essay about your case, they may be less inclined to comb over every statement.
So, keep it simple. State who you are and how you’re related to anyone who is relevant to the case. Be sure to list your case name, case number, and the date your case was filed. Then, give simple, accurate statements about your case. When contradicting a statement made by your caseworker, make sure that you address any extenuating circumstances that could cause the caseworker to lie about a situation (no witnesses, a misunderstanding, etc). Finally, you must be extremely careful not to make any statements that could incriminate you.
File a Statement of Objections and Corrections
Once you’ve written down the facts of your case, you might want to take things a step further by filing what is known as a Statement of Objections and Corrections to the Report of the Social Worker. Rather than just writing down the facts from your perspective, this document copies the caseworker report line by line, with redactions or revisions of any false statements, fabrications, or misrepresentations in brackets.
This document generally carries more weight than a simple Declaration of Facts. As a result, you should usually file this kind of document with the help of an attorney (more on that later). In any case, a Statement of Objections and Corrections should be extremely thorough and organized. It is not an opportunity to make broad criticisms of your caseworker. Instead, this document should correct each and every lie made in the official report. For more information on creating a Statement of Objections and Corrections to the Report of the Social Worker, check out this link.
Hire an Attorney
The sad truth is that fighting CPS is an uphill battle. While you could theoretically sue CPS if the organization has infringed on your civil rights, you probably won’t have enough of a case to file a lawsuit based on misrepresentations or false statements. However, this doesn’t mean that there won’t be a legal battle. As a result, hiring an attorney is necessary in many cases.
The Bottom Line
You may have to plead your case to a judge if CPS wants to remove your children from your custody. Alternatively, if the state is filing criminal charges against you, you’ll need an attorney to help prove that CPS lied or misrepresented the original report. Fortunately, you don’t have to be rich to get a lawyer; you can seek out free legal aid in all 50 states to help you figure out what to do when CPS lies.