If you have been investigated by Child Protective Services (CPS), you probably know how nerve-racking and stressful that experience is. In fact, many parents whose CPS cases have been closed wonder, “Can CPS reopen a closed case?”
Parents who have been previously investigated by CPS fear that the agency could reopen their closed case and threaten to take their children again. In theory, yes. CPS can reopen a closed case.
Once a parent is on the CPS’s hook for child abuse, neglect, or another reason that triggers an investigation, it can be difficult to get rid of CPS completely. CPS may not disappear once and for all when a CPS case is closed.
If CPS reopened a closed case or you fear that the agency could be spying on you, do not hesitate to speak with a skilled attorney to discuss your particular situation. At The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard, our Harker Heights CPS attorneys understand how stressful it is to deal with Child Protective Services. That is why we are committed to helping you fight back and ensure that your case remains closed for as long as possible.
Can Child Protective Services Reopen a Closed Case?
Yes, CPS can reopen a closed case. The mere thought of having to go through the CPS investigation again may seem frustrating, but you should not rule out the possibility of Child Protective Service reopening your closed case.
In fact, the agency has a right to open a closed case as many times as it feels necessary to protect the child’s safety and wellbeing. If CPS determines that a child is in danger and decides to open a closed case, there is not much a parent can do to prevent the agency from reopening it.
It is not uncommon for CPS to reopen a closed case multiple times. Every time the agency reopens a closed case, the case becomes more scrutinized because CPS wants to ensure that it does not miss anything that might require their immediate attention.
If Child Protective Services decided to reopen your closed case, it is advisable to consult with an attorney to discuss your options.
Why Can a CPS Case Be Reopened?
The causes of closed CPS cases being reopened vary greatly. In most cases, the agency decides to reopen a case that has been closed when something that requires further investigation comes to their attention.
For example, let’s imagine that someone reports child abuse and CPS initiates an investigation. The agency then decides to close the case after no evidence of abuse is found. After the case is closed, CPS receives a new report of child abuse, which prompts the agency to reopen the closed case for further investigation.
A closed CPS case can be reopened due to the following reasons:
Mental health issues. If you have been diagnosed with a mental health problem, there is a good chance that CPS will continue to keep an eye on you even after your case is closed. The agency may use any excuse to reopen your closed case if something that could endanger the child is brought to its attention.
Financial concerns. Many families end up being investigated by CPS when they fail to provide a stable environment for their children. If parents cannot provide their children with food, shelter, and clothing, and the parents’ struggles to make both ends meet negatively impact the child’s wellbeing, CPS may decide to reopen a closed case if financial concerns persist.
Domestic abuse. CPS cases are often reopened multiple times in families with a history of domestic abuse. The agency may continue monitoring the child’s wellbeing to ensure that the child does not become a victim of abuse or neglect.
How Can You Check That a CPS Case is Closed?
If you are being investigated by CPS and the agency does not have valid reasons to keep your case open, your case will be closed. Typically, you will know that your CPS case is closed because the agency will send you a letter notifying you of the closure. However, you may not receive the notification immediately after the investigation concludes, which is why it is advisable to follow up with a CPS caseworker to be aware of the status of your case.
How Can You Get Your CPS Case Closed?
While you have a right to refuse to talk to a CPS investigator or let him/her enter your property for a home inspection, cooperating with the agency may be necessary to get your case closed. However, since each case is unique, it is vital to consult with an attorney to determine how you should deal with CPS in your particular situation.
Working with CPS to get your case closed may mean the following:
Providing the agency with the requested documentation
Letting a CPS investigator enter your home to perform an inspection
Answering questions to show that you have nothing to hide
Keep in mind that CPS workers want to protect your child’s safety and wellbeing. They do not want to take your children from you unless it is necessary to protect the child from the immediate risk of harm.
An experienced attorney can help you ensure that your CPS case is dismissed, even if it was reopened by the agency. A judge may dismiss a case if there is not enough evidence to prove that the allegations of child abuse or neglect are true.
What to Do if CPS Reopened a Closed Case?
If Child Protective Services reopened your closed case, you might be frustrated that you have to deal with the agency again. You should not fight back alone. If CPS reopened your closed case, it is vital to contact a knowledgeable attorney to protect your rights and get your life back on track.
Schedule a case review with our CPS lawyers at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard to talk about your options. Call (254) 220-4225 to find out how you can protect yourself when a CPS case has been reopened.