CPS was recently called on a family I’m very close to related to 2 older children (16ish) but still under 18. The adults in the home have serious alcohol abuse and this is causing severe neglect to the children. CPS opened a case, I’m the point of contact for follow up. The caseworker showed up to the home yesterday, and the mom refused entry (well within her rights). I’m wondering what will happen next. Will they just close the case because they couldn’t get access to the house or children? I’m also wondering what the steps are that might be taken so I’m better prepared for follow ups that might occur or if there’s more information I need to gather to pass along. Case is opened in the state of Utah.
Family I’m very close have serious alcohol abuse on the childrens
Generally, CPS investigations are called “referrals” and, if allegations are substantiated, a voluntary family maintenance case or a dependency case in Juvenile Court may be opened. Not knowing what is involved in these circumstances, it’s hard to say what will happen.
In my ten years as a social worker and forensic interviewer, I never closed an investigation because the parent denied entry. It rarely happened but if it does, cps can ask law enforcement to check the welfare (they can enter without a warrant) , they can interview the children at school, or they can seek a warrant to place the children in protective custody. If the allegations are serious enough ie meet the legal definition necessary to investigate, it would be IN MY OPINION malpractice to abandon the case because a parent won’t open the door. I never did it and never could understand social workers who closed as “cannot locate”. I used that less than 5x in 10 years.
I’ll try to explain the best I can. Mom and oldest sibling get black out drunk, get violent, and put themselves at risk of harm/death, and get violent at times. A few nights ago one of them attempted to defecate in a cooler in a common room in front of the children. No doctors appointments for the kids and undiagnosed mental health, most likely due to their excessive drinking.
Also, “severe neglect” is unlikely in 16 year olds without the element of torture and imprisonment or concomitant mental disability in the victim. Severe neglect is more, for example, starving a baby because mother is psychotic or something life threatening but not including abuse. Even a filthy home is often part of general neglect. Severe neglect is a crime and so will be cross reported to law enforcement.
I meant severe maybe not in the same legal terms, but more not getting doctors appointments, symptoms and family history of depression with no treatment. So there’s no medical treatment involved. They also only do remote learning and have for some time
They will talk to the kids at school and take action from there. They will get a warrant if necessary. But they usually won’t just close a case.
CPS usually works double as hard when the parents don’t cooperate, from what I understand. And they seem to take substance abuse more seriously than any other forms of neglect/abuse. At least in Oregon
From my experience if they can’t prove that there is neglect, then the judge will not force CPS inside the home. They will go to the kids’ school and talk to them though. Also in my experience, they tend to leave kids in abusive situations. I personally know 2 families with proof of sexual assault, and CPS won’t do a thing. It’s sad. The system is corrupt. There’s whole documentaries of children dying where CPS has investigated and deemed the family safe.
They’ll go see the kids at school tomorrow.