Tuesday, April 7, 2015

David and Goliath

Attempting to fight CPS is a battle that parents and families do not enter into lightly. A good comparison would be to the battle between David and Goliath.

CPS is a behemoth, a hydra, a self-perpetuating machine that has virtually unlimited resources. It is truly a Goliath looming over the people in the system.

CPS has attorneys on staff. It has caseworkers on staff. It has typists and clerks and secretaries on staff. It has legal assistants on staff. It has investigators on staff.

CPS has psychologists, therapists, and social workers on contract. They have agencies paid to provide services as they deem necessary.

CPS has alliances with local District Attorneys and law enforcement. They have developed relationships with the Family Court judges and staff lasting years, often with behind the scenes deals worked out as often as possible.

CPS has close alliances with the court appointed AFCs that are appointed to the children in CPS cases.

CPS has government line items for transcripts and fees. Even when they are caught out in their shenanigans and subject to sanctions by the court, the fees don't come out of their own pocket.

CPS controls the purse strings regarding services available and offers or denies them as they see fit to manipulate their case.

Meanwhile, facing the giant are the "Davids" - the parents and families who only want their children back and reunification.

Defendants Parents are responsible for finding their own attorney. If they qualify, representation will be made by a court appointed attorney - who is often overworked and not necessarily able to adequately spend time on the case.

If they don't qualify, or if they realize that they aren't being represented properly, a "simple" family court case can start at $2500, and increase from there if it lasts longer than a few months.

If criminal charges have also been filed, the cost for a defense attorney starts at $15000 or more. Usually fees need to be paid separately for each matter, even when the same attorney is working on both cases.

Often, if CPS is able to manipulate the situation, they will force each party to get a separate attorneys - this can double or triple the initial costs.

Any investigation of the case to support the defense must also be paid for by the parents. CPS will only gather evidence that supports their case, and often puts pressure on potential witnesses.

Purchasing transcripts as the case proceeds is often necessary to keep things on track. If the transcripts haven't already been printed out (one original is allowed, copies must be made from that), they cost anywhere from $3 to $6 per page, with short hearings running around ten pages. The costs can add up rapidly.

CPS will often demand psychological evaluations on the parents and children. The "free" psychological evaluations provided by CPS are with providers who usually have a contract with CPS. Have you ever had "don't bite the hand that feeds you"? It applies to this situation also.

If a parent wants an independent, impartial psychologist to do a report, they need to pay out of pocket - $1500 or more per person to have a report done, which CPS will then fight tooth and nail if the report doesn't give results that support the CPS case.


Without knowing this information, many people are quick to judge parents and families who have come under the action of CPS. They assume that there is actually guilt of some type, and the parents/families are deserving of the sanctions that result.

What should really be considered is when a family is willing to fight and incur major financial expense as well as other repercussions (societal stigmatization, job loss, permanent sanctions), it is one of the strongest demonstrations that they are fighting for the truth against wrongful accusations and actions taken against them by CPS.

It is far easier, and far less expensive, to capitulate. To sign the service plan. To consent to the CPS jurisdiction. But those who fight aren't looking for easy, they are looking for the truth.

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