Breaking free from an abuser is extremely difficult and can be a very stressful and trying time for mothers and their children. Common misconceptions about Child Protective Services can make things harder, or even make victims hesitant to leave their abuser.
Here are some key things to remember about CPS, their role, and your rights as a survivor of domestic abuse:
CPS will not automatically take your children if you come to the Family Services Women and Children Shelter.
In fact, they may not become involved at all. They only investigate cases where someone has reported abuse or neglect that affects your children.
If CPS does get involved, that doesn’t necessarily mean your children will be taken.
According to the CPS website: “Staying in the shelter may be your best option to protect both you and your child. Working with shelter staff and using community resources is a good sign that you are willing to protect your child. ” Tell CPS all the steps you are taking to protect your child.
CPS will not tell anyone where you are.
The location of the shelter is confidential. Also CPS is required to keep information about you confidential. You should tell CPS if there is other information about you that would put you or your children in danger if shared.
CPS and Shelter staff will help you create a Safety Plan for you and your children.
This is a critical piece of your recovery from domestic abuse. And for your children to remain with you, CPS needs to see that your plan is well thought out and can realistically keep your children safe. Family Services staff and CPS will help you create a plan that will work for you and your situation.