One of the worse things a parent can go through is coming face to face with a CYFD investigation. The humiliation, fear and intimidation that comes from a CYFD investigation may feel overwhelming. Here are three tips you can use if you are faced with a CYFD investigation to get you through the first 24-48 hours. After these tips it is vital for you to get proper legal representation as the consequences of a CYFD investigation can be long lasting in terms of time and money.
#1. Get information. During an investigation the CYFD workers tell you very little. This is frustrating and nerve racking. In the end you’ll want to make sure you get information. To do that you need as much contact information as possible. Get a copy of the worker’s card. Ask the worker for the person’s supervisor. Make sure to get names, phone numbers and email addresses. Every person you speak to you need to ask them who is their supervisor. This allows you to claim the chain of command if it becomes necessary in the future.
#2. Ask questions and prepare. Here are some questions you should ask: Has the state taken my child into protective custody? (this is important because there are legal time frames associated with a child taken into custody). What are the concerns that were given to CYFD about me? Do you want to do a home visit? When? Where is my child now? What is your name? What is your supervisor’s name? Where is your office located? What is the name of the attorney assigned to the case? In addition to asking questions also prepare your home. Inevitably CYFD will come to your home to look at it. They will go through everything. They will check how clean your house is when they visit. They will open the refrigerator. They will go into your room and go through drawers…plus much more. Be prepared for these invasions of privacy…both mentally and physically.
#3. Have an attorney with you. Whenever CYFD wants to interview you, we strongly urge you to have an attorney. The things you say can be used against you. It could open the door unexpectedly to criminal charges. Do not talk to CYFD without having your lawyer.