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NYC ACS Investigation Lawyers

By Spodek Law Group | February 23, 2021
(Last Updated On: July 26, 2023)

Last Updated on: 26th July 2023, 10:10 pm

New York ACS Investigation Lawyers

The prospect of child neglect is a serious matter indeed. In New York City, we have organizations that are focused on investigating any accusations of such a scenario, such as the Administration for Children’s Services. In the best of all worlds, this would ensure that the child’s best interests and safety remain a top priority. Sadly, these cases can often become a great deal more complicated and skewed due to the involvement of people who are willing to manipulate the system for their own purposes. In the wake of a divorce proceeding, individuals sometimes allow their own resentment to guide their decisions.  They make false accusations for the purpose of undermining the other parent. In other scenarios, a severe misunderstanding can cause a person to make an allegation despite not knowing the full story.

For a parent who is actually trying to do what’s best for their children, this can be a frustrating and frightening prospect. Despite the lack of any real proof, such accusations can be incredibly harmful. Trust your experienced ACS investigations lawyer with your legal representation.  That is the key to make sure that any such accusations are dismissed and that there is no lasting impact on the relationship between you and your children. At Spodek Law Group, we will stand for you and see that your rights are upheld at every juncture.

What is ACS?

New York’s Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) protects and promotes the safety and well-being of the children and families of New York City by providing child welfare, juvenile justice, and early care and education services.

ACS has services to help the children and families who are in the juvenile justice system.  They also seek to build stronger and safer communities and advance public safety. They provide supportive services that are responsive to the needs of individual youth and families. These include: 

  • Preventive programs in communities that are designed to keep young people out of the juvenile justice system
  • Detention services for youth who get remanded to ACS’ custody while court cases are pending
  • Placement services for youth who are determined by the Family Court to be juvenile delinquents.  They also have aftercare services to transition youth from residential placement back to their communities
  • Alternative programs that make it possible for youth to stay in their home community in lieu of an out-of-home program
  • ACS works with judges, other city agencies such as the Department of Probation and Department of Education; attorneys, community-based service providers and other stakeholders throughout the process.

Overview of the ACS Investigation Procedure

Should an allegation of child abuse or mistreatment be made, ACS responds by opening an investigation and involving the Child Protective Service Agency (CPS). CPS follows up by contacting the individual that placed the call.  They then make an unannounced visit, all of which takes place within 24-48 hours of the report being filed.

The reason for the short time frame is to make sure that parents responsible for neglecting their children aren’t given any opportunity to conceal their behavior. Unfortunately, this tends to be an extremely jarring experience to a family with no reason to expect such a visit. During the course of such a visit, CPS workers speak directly to the children, as well as any adults who reside at the house. They inspect the premises for any apparent hazards or potential evidence of neglect. At this juncture, the accused parent is informed of the ongoing investigation and handed a Notice of Existence.

After the home visit, CPS investigates various other parts of your family’s life.  They will speak with peers and teachers at school, extended family members, and any other individuals that may regularly interact with your child. On top of attempting to determine whether the accusation was factual or not, ACS will also determine whether any services are required. For example, they may decide to implement preventive services that are aimed to stabilize families considered to be in crisis.

CPS has 60 days to make their final ruling 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 “indicated,” CPS will then send out a letter called a Notice of Indication, at which point the Family Court may become involved.

How New York ACS Investigation Lawyers From Spodek Law Group Can Help

At every stage of an ACS investigation exist opportunities for a knowledgeable attorney to advocate for you and your family. Sadly, it’s a simple thing for parents accused of neglect or abuse to become overwhelmed with fear or uncertainty, despite having done no wrong.  Nevertheless, you have rights. At Spodek Law Group, we have years of experience with ACS cases. We guide you through the whole process as quickly and painlessly as possible.  In addition, we can also answer any questions or concerns that you have along the way.

If the report is discovered to be “indicated,” that doesn’t mean that you’ve actually been found guilty of any crimes.  Nor does it mean that your child must be removed from your home. What it does mean is that a bare minimum quanity of evidence supporting the allegations made against you has been found. A skilled ACS investigation attorney can help you appeal the decision, in addition to mounting a strong case should a judge eventually become involved.  Call us today for your free consultation.  

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