Child Protective Services (CPS) is the state’s investigative agency in cases of child abuse or neglect cases. CPS is staffed with many dedicated professionals who perform a difficult and necessary role in the protection of children. However, CPS is understaffed, overworked, and prone to rushed judgments and this often results in a very high rate of error in their decision making. The people who pay for these mistakes are the children themselves and the parents and professionals who care for the children.
CPS actions are to be taken very seriously as they often result in removal of children from the home and criminal charges. Statements you may make to a caseworker or counselor can and will be used against you in any criminal proceeding and they are not required to read you your rights. Expressions of support for a spouse who is suspect of abuse or neglect will most often result in the removal of the children on a theory that the supportive spouse “will fail to protect” the children.
Fighting CPS means fighting an automatic negative bias against you. If you are contacted by CPS in Washington, don’t hesitate to get experienced legal counsel on your side. Having an experienced attorney by your side as you engage CPS caseworkers in an unforgiving system is critical. Spencer Law PLLC has experience handling these cases. From start to finish, I examine the circumstances of your case and work with you to secure the best outcome possible for you and your children.
You have no idea how much I appreciated the kindness, patience, and above all the love you showed me during the last five months. I could not have coped through this nightmare without you. Thank you! I also wanted to let you know how grateful I am to have had you in my corner during this ordeal. It means a lot to me to have had someone (so amazingly talented and competent) who I had complete trust in handling the most difficult event of my life. Once again my most sincere thank you! – Judith D., Vancouver, June 2017
Read more testimonials here.
What can happen from a CPS report? In addition to criminal charges, the state has two principle courses of action in cases of suspected abuse or neglect on children. If it is believed that a parent has abused or neglected a child, the state can remove the children from a parent’s care under petition a court for an order of “dependency” – an order which means that there is no fit parent available to care for the child and the child becomes a “ward” of the state. Children can be placed with a relative or in the foster care system. If it is believed that a caregiver (day care provider, foster parent, camp counselor, etc.) or other professional responsible for a child (e.g., teacher) has committed abuse or neglect against a child, the state can commence administrative proceedings to suspend or terminate the professional license of the professional.
"Clayton represented me in a very challenging case. Clearly outlying options and potential outcomes before proceeding, always affording me time to make my decisions. His firm was not after my money and charging me unnecessarily, but more driven to deliver the results. If you need sound legal advice or top-knotch representation- Spencer Law is where you should start your search." - Paul September 14, 2022
"Clayton is very knowledgeable and has a great plan for your case. He helped me to completely resolve my matters even before my first hearing. He will thoroughly explain the process to you and do everything he can to get you a favorable outcome. I highly recommend Clayton Spencer!" - Katie September 10, 2022
"I called Clayton today and left a voicemail, he called back shortly after. He was very upfront. Even though he couldn’t represent me, he spent several minutes giving me advice and options. Very kind man! Highly recommend him if you are in his area!" - Lily June 16, 2022
"I can’t say enough good things about Clayton and his paralegal Jill. They helped me navigate the scariest time of my life. I knew I needed a tough lawyer and trust me Clayton is one tough lawyer. I am extremely grateful they coached me through a very difficult time. They educated me at every level and represented well. I highly recommend using Clayton and Jill." - anonymous June 6, 2022
"I was referred to Clayton Spencer Law Firm by another attorney who told me that Clayton is the BEST. I was having a horrific time with the attorney that I was working with and am so grateful that I terminated her and hired Clayton and Jill. Working with Clayton and Jill was night and day in comparison. Clayton always provided thorough explanations and he kindly laid out the pros and cons of the actions that needed to be taken each step of the way. He took the time to carefully listen to my concerns so that I never felt disregarded. He and Jill provided guidance and were empathetic and kind, yet moved the process along quickly and so, so, so, cost efficiently. A child support calculation and motion that took my previous counsel’s firm 6 weeks to complete took Jill about 20 minutes. When opposing counsel didn’t respond to requests or phone calls, as was typical, Clayton politely emailed every single day until he received a response. I felt that Clayton and Jill truly wanted what was best for me and my son, while making sure that the settlement was fair for both parties. I highly recommend this dynamic duo!" - maria April 11, 2022