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How Do CPS Cases Work in California? Important Information 2024

January 21, 2024

How Do CPS Cases Work in California? call the best cps lawyers now

How Do CPS Cases Work in California?

When it comes to CPS cases in California, there is a lot of important information that parents and caregivers need to be aware of.

In this blog post, we will discuss what CPS cases are, what CPS does, how many CPS cases go to court, and more. Click here to learn more about what happens when CPS comes to your house.

Keep in mind that every case is unique and the information provided here should not be taken as legal advice. If you have specific questions about your own CPS case, please consult with an attorney.

What are CPS Cases / Juvenile Dependency Cases?

CPS cases, otherwise known as juvenile dependency cases, are filed when it is alleged that a child has been abused, neglected, or abandoned.

CPS stands for Child Protective Services. While CPS is the common name when referring to the state agency investigating child abuse and child neglect allegations, every county uses a different name. CPS can also be called Child Welfare Services, Social Services Agency, Department of Child and Family Services, or Department of Family Services.

CPS cases usually begin when someone makes a report to CPS about potential abuse or neglect. CPS will then investigate the allegations to determine whether or not they are founded. If CPS finds that the allegations are founded, the child will be placed in foster care, and a CPS case will be opened.

What Does CPS Do?

CPS is responsible for investigating allegations of abuse and neglect and providing services to families involved in CPS cases.

CPS caseworkers will work with families to ensure that the child is safe and that the family has the resources they need to care for the child.

CPS will also develop a case plan for each family, outlining the services CPS will provide and the goals CPS hopes to achieve.

How Many CPS Cases Go to Court?

CPS cases typically go to court if CPS cannot resolve the allegations against the family through its investigation or if the family does not comply with the case plan.

CPS cases can also go to court if the child is placed in foster care and the parents want to contest the placement.

What Is a CPS Case Plan?

A CPS case plan is a document that outlines the services that CPS will provide to a family involved in a CPS case.

The case plan will also specify the goals that CPS hopes to achieve, such as ensuring that the child is safe and that the family has the necessary resources to care for the child.

Can CPS Allegations Be Unfounded or Not Substantiated?

When an allegation is made, an investigation will be conducted to determine if the allegation is unfounded, inconclusive, or substantiated.

Depending upon the allegations made, CPS will initiate an investigation into the allegations by visiting your home immediately or up to ten days after CPS receives the allegations.

You generally will not receive advance notice of the allegations made against you, or the home visit, until the social worker arrives at your home. After completing the investigation, you will be notified by CPS of the decision made.

Depending on the preliminary findings regarding the allegations, a juvenile dependency case may open, and your child may immediately be removed from your home.

If there is no evidence to support the allegations, the allegations will be not likely be filed, and a juvenile dependency case will not open.

How Long Does CPS Have to Investigate in California?

Child Protective Services (CPS) in California is required to start an investigation within 10 days for general allegations of abuse or neglect. However, if the allegations involve immediate risk to a child’s safety, such as severe abuse or sexual abuse, CPS must initiate the investigation immediately, often within 24 hours.

CPS investigations can take up to 30 days to complete, during which they will conduct interviews, observe the home environment, and possibly do other forms of investigation such as medical examinations or psychological evaluations.

Upon the conclusion of the investigation, CPS must make a determination of the allegations within 60 days. This timeframe may be extended under certain circumstances.

However, laws and regulations can change over time, so for the most current information, you should consult a local CPS legal professional, or directly contact CPS in California.


If you have been accused of abuse or neglect, it is crucial to get an attorney as soon as possible.

You deserve to have a lawyer who will help you fight to get your children back. If you are dealing with a juvenile dependency case, child abuse case, or CPS case in Orange County, California, or Southern California, you need the juvenile dependency attorneys at ALL Trial Lawyers by your side.

Don’t risk calling the wrong lawyer. If CPS is investigating you, you do not have to deal with them alone. 

We know how the juvenile court process in California works. We have handled hundreds of juvenile dependency cases in Orange CountySan Diego CountyLos Angeles CountySan Bernardino County, and Riverside County.

We have an office located near you, and we’re ready to start working on your case.

Call us now to speak to a lawyer and for your free consultation. Call (866) 811-4255.

Dealing with CPS can be scary. You don’t have to face CPS alone.

We handle cases all over California. Call today.

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