Parents have a liberty interest in their children that is protected by both federal and state constitutions. Parents get to make educational, legal and other decisions for their children. They also get to decide who gets access to their children.
For some reason, a representative from DCS (CPS) may go to your children’s school and request access to your children to interview them. The representative with take your children to a room, one by one, so that they can be alone and the representative will ask your children questions. Representatives do this with children of all ages. These people are strangers to your children.
Usually, you will receive no notification that this interview has taken place. The school will not notify you. Nobody from DCS will notify you. Unless your children inform you of the interview, the fact that it ever took place remains a secret.
You should consider requesting you children’s school not allow police or DCS contact with your child prior to your notification and consent.
Additionally, you may be interested to learn that DCS has particular rules that guide when they can interview children without parental consent. School and DCS employees should be aware of these rules because they are both provided by law, supported by the courts and adopted by DCS.
Keep in mind that the purpose of DCS is to protect children. And DCS representatives interview children in response to some report regarding child safety. But the overburdened and underfunded DCS agency, plagued by training challenges and excessive turnover, often oversteps boundaries, particularly when not held in check. Some reports to DCS are valid and some are not. When a DCS representative asks the children about suspected parental drug use or other suspected negative behavior, the children often feel insecure and emotionally distressed. And remember, these people are strangers to your children.
Parents have hired me to head off unwarranted DCS interviews. And it has worked to keep the DCS representatives in check. I strongly suggest all parents assert their parenting rights and protect their children’s peace of mind.