Handling an Investigation

Know Your Rights, Part 1: Information on the difference between abuse and neglect
Know Your Rights, Part 2 : Information about the investigation process, tips, and your rights

Legal Rights

The legal rights resources in this section focus on New York City and State. The American Bar Association website has state-specific “Know Your Rights” guides for parents who have had their children removed from their home.

  • How to Access NYC Early Representation: Legal Support for Parents During an Investigation or Family Crisis
    If CPS has been called on you or if you are worried a report may be made, there are organizations you can call for legal representation during an investigation. All of the NYC parent defense organizations have early defense teams that can assist parents, try to prevent an ACS case, and provide information so parents know their rights and understand the process.
  • Know Your Rights During an Investigation (Videos)
    Nancy Fortunado, Rise Senior Parent Leader and lawyers from Brooklyn Defenders Services and The Bronx Defenders provide information for parents about your rights during a child welfare investigation. 

    Part 1: Information on the difference between abuse and neglect
    Part 2: Information about the investigation process, tips, and your rights
  • Know Your Rights: State Central Register “SCR”
    The State Central Register is a database that maintains a record of all reports of child abuse and/or maltreatment (neglect) based on calls made to New York State’s central hotline. If you receive notice of an indicated report, you have the right to request a hearing within 90 days of the notice. Learn more about why and how to request a hearing in this flyer from Manhattan Legal Services, available in English, Spanish and Chinese.

Issues, Guides and Series

  • Facing an Investigation: This issue offers guidance from parents and professionals on handling an investigation.

Personal Essays

Interviews and Opinion