Investigators with Child Protective Investigations are government employees whose job is to investigate possible child abuse and neglect. They are required to conduct investigations of reports they receive from the public of suspected abuse and neglect.
If a Kaufman County resident gets contacted by this agency, there are a few important things to remember.
The investigators are not there to “help” parents
Investigators may come across as just wanting to help parents or other caregivers who are in a difficult position.
They may even offer to set up some services for parents or families instead of removing children from homes.
Often, though, this offer is on the condition that the parent cooperate with the agency’s investigation. Too many times, an investigator’s definition of “cooperation” will include a parent having to admit to child abuse or neglect.
It is important for anyone in contact with these investigators to remember that their job is to ferret out cases of child abuse and neglect. They are not there to assist those whom they are investigating as possible perpetrators, either legally or otherwise.
These investigators may share incriminating evidence with law enforcement
Although not law enforcement officers themselves, employees of Child Protective Investigations work closely with police. They are required to report cases of suspected abuse and neglect.
To the extent allowed by Texas law, they may also share information with law enforcement agents, prosecutors and the courts. For example, they may repeat what a suspect supposedly told them.
Police and prosecutors can use this information to make arrests and pursue serious felony charges that can land a person in prison for a long time and haunt them for life.
A parent has a right to consult with a lawyer during an investigation
If an investigator with Child Protective Investigations comes to call, a parent has the right to consult with an attorney. It is often a good idea to exercise this right. Likewise, it is important to consult an attorney if criminal child abuse charges arise from an investigation.