Child Protective Services will investigate reports of children being abused or neglected and establish if the child is being mistreated. During this process a caseworker will interview the family members to get a better grasp about the best way to keep the child safe or remove them from an unsafe environment. At the conclusion of this investigation the caseworker will make a ruling on each allegation that was made which is called a “disposition.”
Generally, dispositions fall into three categories:
During the course of the investigation, the caseworker will determine if there potential for future harm that by looking at the family members and how they behave in the home. There are generally two outcomes to this interview process:
When the case worker believes the child is (a) in danger, or (b) an investigation has not yet been able to determine whether a complaint is credible, the case worker will create a voluntary parenting plan. The parenting (or family) plan will outline the restricted interaction between the alleged abuser and the children. Most commonly, it results in a no contact order between the alleged abuser and the child while the investigation is ongoing. You should request telephone or limited supervised contact, regardless, as a demonstration of your interest in the child(-ren).
You must not violate any agreed parenting plan, or the case worker will file with the Court for a protective order. That notwithstanding, you should be working on showing good faith and a serious intent on resolving the issue, not antagonizing the case worker. Where you fear that there is an imminent threat to the child, or that the case worker is not being reasonable, you must contact a lawyer immediately.
You may always seek judicial review of the parenting plan.