ACS Investigation Lawyers
New York ACS Investigation Lawyers
NYC ACS Investigation Attorneys Ready to Assist You
The possibility of child neglect is a serious cause for concern. As a society, we have several organizations focused on investigating any accusations of such a scenario, such as the Administration for Children’s Services in New York. Ideally, this would ensure that the child’s best interests and safety remain a top priority. Unfortunately, these cases can often become far more complicated and skewed due to the involvement of those willing to manipulate the system to their advantage. After going through divorce proceedings, individuals sometimes allow their own resentment and perceived hurt to take over, driving them to make false accusations in order to undermine the other parent. In other cases, a severe misunderstanding can cause someone to make an allegation despite not knowing the full story.
For a parent genuinely trying to do what’s best for their child, this can be a frustratingly terrifying prospect. Despite the lack of concrete proof, accusations such as this one can be incredibly harmful. Trusting an experienced lawyer with your legal representation is key to ensuring that any such accusations are dismissed and that there are no lasting impacts on the relationship between yourself and your child. At Tsigler Law, we are prepared to advocate for you and see that your rights are upheld at every juncture.
What is the Administration for Children’s Services?
The New York City Administration for Children’s Services, often referred to simply as the ACS, is a governmental agency charged with the protection of children and families within New York City. Their duties include providing child welfare by partnering with nonprofit organizations, managing juvenile justice services, and increasing the accessibility of early care and education. The ACS is also responsible for investigating any allegations of child abuse or maltreatment.
While the details of each case vary greatly, the ACS Office of Special Investigations often deals with accusations involving the foster care system, childcare employees, and ACS employees. Thanks to the intervention of experienced lawyers, these investigations are most often resolved in a peaceful manner. Usually, the family is allowed to remain together. However, in some circumstances, the ACS may decide that the best course of action is to remove the child from their home altogether, either by seeking a Family Court order or by performing an emergency removal. These sorts of decisions can move quickly once they’ve been made, making it all the more critical that you have a skilled lawyer on your team.
What Is Needed to Trigger an ACS Investigation?
Given the seriousness of such an investigation, you may be wondering what sort of evidence or information the ACS requires to start the process. The truth of the matter is that the ACS is required by law to investigate all reports they receive, even if there is no substantial evidence to support the allegation. This is why it is so easy for a good, upstanding, responsible parent to become very suddenly involved in an ACS investigation.
In some cases, such accusations are borne out of malicious intent, in order to cause you and your family pain. In other cases, a mandatory reporter, such as a healthcare provider, educational instructor, or law enforcement official, may have misunderstood something they heard or witnessed, compelling them to place a call to ACS in an attempt to obey the law. Regardless of the motivations behind the call, they will proceed with the investigation.
Overview of ACS Investigation Process
In the event that an allegation of child abuse or mistreatment is made, the ACS will respond by opening an investigation and involving the Child Protective Service Agency (CPS). CPS will follow up by contacting the individual that placed the call, after which they will make an unannounced visit, all of which occurs within 24-48 hours of the report being filed.
The purpose of the short time frame is to ensure that parents responsible for neglecting their children aren’t given the opportunity to hide their behavior. Unfortunately, this can be an extremely jarring experience to a family with no reason to expect such a visit. During the visit, CPS will speak directly to the children, as well as any adults who reside at the house. They will inspect the premises for any apparent hazards or potential evidence of neglect. At this juncture, the accused parent is finally informed of the ongoing investigation and given a Notice of Existence.
Outside of the home, CPS will investigate the various other parts of your family’s life by following up with peers and teachers at school, extended family members, and any other individuals that might regularly interact with your child. In addition to confirming whether the accusation was true or unfounded, the ACS will also determine whether any services, such as preventive services, aimed to stabilize families thought to be in crisis.
CPS has up to 60 days to make their final decision in regard to the nature of the call, at which point they’ll announce that the report was “indicated,” meaning it was truthful, or “unfounded.” If the report is found to be “indicated,” CPS will then send a letter called a Notice of Indication, at which point the Family Court may become involved.
How New York City Attorneys From Tsigler Law Can Help
At every juncture of the investigation, there are opportunities for a knowledgeable lawyer to advocate for you and your family. It’s easy for parents accused of neglect or abuse to become overwhelmed with fear or uncertainty, despite having done nothing wrong, but you still have rights. At Tsigler Law, we have years of experience handling these sorts of cases. Not only can we guide you through the process as quickly and painlessly as possible, we can also address any questions or concerns that you might have along the way.
If the report is found to be “indicated,” doesn’t mean that you’ve actually been found guilty of any crimes, nor does it mean that your child will be removed from your home. All it means is that a bare minimum amount of evidence supporting the allegations made against you has been found. A skilled attorney can help you appeal the decision, in addition to helping build your case should a judge eventually become involved.
Even in situations where the report is determined to be “unfounded,” it remains on your official record. An attorney from the Law Offices of Robert Tsigler can help you ensure that any such records are expunged. For further information on ACS investigations and what we can do to assist, please call the offices of Robert Tsigler at 718-213-4021; our team is standing by 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
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Boyfriend & girlfriend dated for six years, had a child together. The boyfriend moved out of state and refused to pay child support. We filed a child support action in NY, tracked down the father & won a substantial award in favor of the mother.
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The ACS Investigation Law firm of Robert Tsigler, PLLC is Ready to Help You!
Getting representation as soon as possible following any ACS Investigation-related case is the best way to promote a positive result from a subsequent trial. Only an experienced New York ACS Investigation lawyer can successfully defend your case.