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Ten Things CPS Looks For During Home Visits

Ten Things CPS Looks for During Home Visits

Few things are scarier as a parent than a visit from Virginia’s Child Protective Services Agency (CPS). If someone from Child Protction Services visits your home, it likely means they are looking for signs of child abuse or neglect, and you don’t want to give them an excuse to doubt your fitness as a parent.

At Hardt Law, P.L.L.C., our team understands the pressure and stress of Child Protection Services home visits. A Virginia Beach CPS defense lawyer can help you prepare for a home visit and assist you in your efforts to maintain custody of your children. Below is a list of ten things CPS workers look for during home visits.

What Virginia Beach CPS Workers Look for During Home Visits

It’s crucial to stay calm if someone visits your home. CPS often receives anonymous tips and sends agents to investigate allegations, so the fact that a CPS agent is in your home doesn’t necessarily mean you are under arrest or accused of a crime. Nevertheless, knowing what CPS agents look for can help you keep your cool and avoid making a potentially damaging misstep.

Some things CPS workers examine during home visits include:

  • The Child’s Physical and Emotional Health – It’s critical for a CPS worker to assess the physical and emotional health of the child. They will observe the child’s overall well-being, physical state, signs of malnutrition, and any bruises or other signs of physical abuse. The child’s emotional state is also crucial – do they seem happy, afraid, or anxious? Are they appropriately responsive for their age?
  • The Home’s Cleanliness – A clean, safe environment is essential for a child’s health and development. CPS workers will check for clutter, dirt, mold, and other sanitary issues that might pose health risks. While every home has its messy moments, persistent neglect could be a sign of a problem.
  • The Child’s Nutrition – What’s in the fridge, pantry, and on the dining table matters. CPS workers look for a variety of food options that indicate a child is eating balanced, nutritious meals. The presence of baby food if there’s an infant in the house, fruits, vegetables, dairy, and protein sources is a good sign of a healthy diet. There should be no rotten food in the house.
  • Unusual Smells – Foul odors could indicate various issues, such as a severe lack of cleanliness, a pest infestation, an improperly cared-for pet, or drug use. CPS workers are trained to recognize these smells and assess what they may signify about living conditions.
  • Family Relationships – The dynamics of family relationships greatly influence a child’s emotional health. CPS workers will observe how family members interact with each other and the child. They look for signs of positive, nurturing relationships, as well as indicators of emotional or physical abuse.
  • Presence of Drugs or Alcohol – Uncontrolled substance use can create an unsafe environment for a child. CPS workers will check for signs of excessive alcohol consumption or illegal drug use, such as bottles, drug paraphernalia, or any substances left within easy reach of the child.
  • Pest Infestation – A home infested with insects, mice, rats, or other pests is not safe or healthy for a child. CPS workers will look for signs of infestation like droppings, nests, or the pests themselves.
  • Guns and Other Weapons – If weapons are present in the home, CPS workers will check to ensure they are stored securely and out of a child’s reach. Proper weapon storage is critical to prevent accidents.
  • Overflowing Trash or Laundry Piles – There should be no trash in the house that isn’t in a proper receptacle, and the trash bins shouldn’t be overflowing. Additionally, piles of dirty laundry make the wrong impression.
  • Child Safety Measures in Vehicles – If a family owns a vehicle, CPS workers will ensure it has the appropriate child safety measures like car seats and booster seats. These are vital to protect children during transit.

Having Trouble with CPS? Our Virginia Beach Lawyer Can Help

As an experienced and dedicated Virginia Beach CPS defense attorney, Patricia Hardt knows how stressful home visits can be and what can happen if a visit doesn’t go well. If you have an issue with CPS, we can protect your rights and work to keep your family whole. Call Hardt Law, P.L.L.C. at (757) 962-5588 or reach out online for a consultation.

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