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False Reports in Virginia CPS Cases

Mother and son

When it comes to raising children, there is some truth to the old saying, “it takes a village.” However, some people get too invested in their neighbor’s business; when suspicions mount to a boiling point, some people turn to Child Protective Services (CPS) with little evidence to back up their claims.

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Who Can Make Reports?

False reports happen all the time; in fact, a majority of reports are thrown out for lack of substantial evidence for the claim made against the family in question. The reason many of these reports are thrown out because anyone can make a report. While the fact that anyone can report to CPS is a good thing, many people jump to conclusions and make reports without thinking about the consequences.

Let’s think about a situation:

  • Imagine a father is extremely angry at his son for walking into the street without looking both ways. He is loudly yelling because he cares about the safety of his son, but a neighbor hears his yells and believes he is too harsh. Rather than wait for more evidence or identify the potential reason as to the father’s yelling, the neighbor immediately calls CPS to make a report against the father. This kind of reporting happens all the time and, unfortunately, it leads to CPS investigating innocent people.

What Happens After a Report?

When someone makes a report, it is sent to a local social service agency to be evaluated to determine if the report is valid based on the description given by the “witness.” Unfortunately, those who report to CPS do not have to give their names, which means people can call and give false or non-credible information concerning a child/family. This means there is no accountability for false reports, and members of CPS must determine if they should investigate based on a single phone call. This process will lead to investigations that have no merit, and unfortunately, that means people will undergo the investigation process despite their innocence.

If you or a loved one are reported to CPS and are currently under investigation, call (757) 447-0080 now for a free evaluation of your case!

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