NYS Child Protective Service
NYS Child Protective Service
Learn more about NYS CPS

Can they take my kids away when they visit my home?

Yes! In certain circumstances, they can. These are only in severest cases, such as a threat of serious physical harm or imminent danger to the child, ie., a parent coming to the house with a gun to confront the mother, or the worker witnesses someone doing drugs in the home during the visit.

If they knock on my door- do I have to let them in?

No, you don't. But you shouldn't argue with them or be rude. If you want to reschedule, you can ask them to come back. If your child is not in any danger at the time of the visit, most likely they will leave. Keep in mind they can and will visit your child's school any day they want, and interview teachers, school nurses, and guidance counselors- without your permission. Also, if you don't let them in, and there is suspected child neglect, they will get a court order to make entry. Best to let them in, they're going to get there anyway.

When is my first court date after a removal?

Usually. within twenty -four hours of removal, you will be in Family Court.

Should I hire a lawyer? When?

If you can't afford a lawyer, the court will appoint one. Having an experienced family lawyer can be crucial in most CPS cases. If the CPS finds you guilty of child abuse or neglect, it will submit its findings to the State Central Register, which gives access to prospective employers. This article may be helpful if you need tips on hiring a lawyer for family court.


Can the children be placed with a family member? Like a grandparent?

Yes, the courts strive to find a family member to place the child with. That family member will undergo a background check and a home inspection by CPS. If there are no "red flags", the judge will most likely award temporary custody to that family member.

When can I see my children?

Once CPS has initiated a removal, it is their job to set up a visitation schedule fairly quickly. A court will decide if there are to be supervised visits, in which case the visits will usually take place in the local DSS office, with a CPS worker there to monitor the visit at all times.

Should I cooperate with a CPS investigation?

If you have a lawyer, they will no doubt tell you to cooperate with CPS. The reason is that CPS would like to wrap up its investigation in a reasonable amount of time. In most cases, the reason cases go on for long is that the accused parent does not cooperate or does something to trigger a subsequent investigation.

How long does a CPS investigation last?

While CPS is required to complete its investigation within 60 days, it is usually not the case that they will be out of your life. It is hard to say, exactly, how long their involvement will last. It depends on several factors including; whether there is a criminal case regarding the abuse running simultaneously, if an order of protection has been issued, and if your children have been placed in foster care. If the court orders parenting or anger management classes or counseling, CPS will be required to monitor the progress and attendance of these. They usually last longer than 60 days.


What goes on in a CPS home visit?

They will inspect your home and your child. Each time they come they will interview both of you separately and take notes. They will look at your child's body for bruises. They will look in your refrigerator to make sure there is adequate food., or diapers and formula for a baby if you have one. They will ask you about your interactions with the child. They will talk to all members of the household at some point.

I NYS, Child Protective Services will take names and d.o.b.s of all residents in the home. They will run them through a police database to find arrest records, so if they ask you about this, don't lie- they will find out anyway.g

More questions you may have about CPS;

Where do they take my kids after they remove them from my house?

If my children are placed in foster care, when will I get them back?

How does the investigation end? Do I get my kids back and go about my business?

Can I get an Order of Protection modified?

How do I get my CPS records?

For more info., contact a Nassau County Family Lawyer for a FREE Consultation now.


Important Resources:


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