Child Protective Services & Addiction
Dealing with addiction and have issues with CPS? We have answers to your questions.
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CPS, Children, & Substance Abuse
Many parents with substance abuse problems lose their children to Child Protective Services (CPS), the Department of Children and Families, or the Department of Social Services, depending on what state they reside in. Parents often panic when this happens and want to preserve the custody of their children or get custody back. The good news is that with strategic action, most are allowed to do so. These parents must prove that they are fit for the job and that their parenting is in the child’s best interest.
Watch Danielle's Story:
"I almost went to prison and lost my son"
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PTSD & Substance Abuse
Post Traumatic Stress from living in an environment influenced by substance abuse increases the likelihood that of the child will abuse alcohol and drugs when older.
Sexual Abuse & Addiction
Learn about how childhood sexual abuse puts people at extreme risk for developing a substance abuse problem in their adult life. Understanding is the first step to healing.
CPS Children & Addiction FAQs
Frequently Asked Questions About 30-Day Rehab
What are the best ways to get custody back after a case has been opened?
When parent(s) are faced with an open CPS investigation or case, the best way to regain custody after drug use is to comply with a child protective services case manager’s requests.
An open CPS case due to your drug use can often feel like the end of the world.
The truth is, it is only the end of the world if the parent(s) make no effort to comply.
If the parent struggles with drug and/or alcohol addiction, complying may be impossible without intervention.
Here are some of the best ways to regain custody after drug use
- Spend time in a drug and alcohol rehab – complete the program and turn in your certificate of completion to the caseworker.
- Comply with ALL drug testing requirements – don’t miss any at all.
- Ensure that your home environment is safe and ready for your children.
- Maintain employment or show proof that you can support yourself and your children.
- The main goal is to overcome your addiction and create a safe, healthy, and stable environment for your children. Regaining custody after drugs is possible.
The sooner you begin carrying out this plan, the better. We can help you do just this and connect you with a short or long-term drug rehab program.
Some inpatient or outpatient programs can get you on the road to recovery.
Getting help sends a message of willingness to be a better parent.
It’s time to be the amazing parent you were meant to be.
Why were my children taken from my care?
It is highly likely that someone close to you was concerned enough to call CPS. It can be tempting to assume this was done with malicious intent. However, if addiction is truly present, it was likely done out of true concern.
Addiction is a physical and psychological disorder; the addicted brain is crippled by dependence so that healthy decisions and prioritization are virtually impossible. Sadly, parents are not immune to addiction, and the children of addicted parents are at high risk for neglect, abuse, and trauma.
Parents addicted to substances usually struggle financially, making it difficult to care for their children. Children may not get enough food to eat or proper clothing. They may suffer in the extreme cold and heat or be without clean water if utilities are shut off.
Many children are left alone, unsupervised, while their parents are intoxicated or out obtaining more drugs or alcohol. Any young child is in danger when unsupervised, as children don’t know to take certain precautions or are incapable of doing so. They are vulnerable to injury, illness, as well as the abuse of ill-intentioned adults.
Traumatic experiences are common for these children in the form of scary or stressful situations and direct abuse. A child may see a parent unresponsive or convulsing from an overdose. Parents under the influence or withdrawing can have a hard time caring for themselves. Parents may hurt or mistreat kids when intoxicated or experiencing mood fluctuation, mental disclarity, or psychosis of withdrawal.
How do I get My Kids Back From CPS ?
Child Protective Services (CPS) intervenes in many cases of parental drug use every year. Remember, custody rights are always based on what is in the child’s best interest. While it is preferred to keep children with parents, or at least in the family, parental rights are often removed for perpetual substance abuse issues.
When children are removed from custody due to drug use, the law demands an attempt to reunite parent and child at least once. In many cases, if the parent doesn’t rectify the problem quickly (usually about a year), rights are removed again. Sadly, children are separated from their parents often due to substance abuse.
Sometimes this happens after arrests or drug charges, sometimes because of reported abuse or negligence. Whatever the reason, it is always sad to see families split up. CPS attempts to work with many families, with the main goal of keeping parents and children together. The highest priority, though, is always to ensure the safety and well-being of the child.
Visitation and unsupervised parenting time are prohibited once a parent is discovered to be abusing drugs or alcohol. After this point, a parent must prove that treatment for substance abuse is completed and they have sustained abstinence from drugs and alcohol.
Why Does CPS Take Children?
Can CPS Force me to go to rehab?
Can CPS Take Your Child for Drinking?
Parents who consume alcohol frequently sometimes assume no danger in having their child(ren) removed from the home because alcohol is legal. The truth is that CPS can take your children from you if you are excessively drinking and putting your children in situations of abuse and neglect.
Studies show that parents who abuse alcohol are prone to impulsive behavior, anger problems, and depression. The same attributes are also commonly observed in children of alcoholics.
CPS will remove children from the home if they determine that the child is being neglected or abused. In these cases, alcohol abuse is treated the same as any other substance abuse issue. CPS may require parents to complete a rehab program.
It can seem unfair that CPS can take your children from drinking, but there’s something to consider. Often, the children of alcoholics are subjected to the angry and abusive behavior of parent(s) who drink.
If it isn’t anger, then it is often neglect. Even high functioning alcoholics who don’t display any of this must face the physical consequences of drinking. The consequences of drinking may also be traumatic for children to witness.
It is easy for many of these children and teens to start drinking at a young age, which increases their own likelihood of developing an addiction.
How Does Substance Abuse Endanger Children?
The situation isn’t very different for the children of people who abuse drugs. Behavior patterns may vary depending on the drug, though impulsive behavior and mood fluctuation are consistent in all addiction.
Many children are abandoned by their parents that are caught up in their active addiction. They would leave their children with relatives or neighbors for days to binge on drugs or alcohol.
A parent who is taking Heroin, for example, may be more neglectful, sleeping most of the time, unreliable when it comes to taking or picking up their children from school.
Someone addicted to Meth may experience psychosis that results in violent or scary behavior that can cause trauma. This trauma can be from physical abuse or witnessing domestic abuse.
Drug use is normalized to many of these children, as they observe it at home from a young age. Because of this, they are more likely to try drugs that other kids wouldn’t dream of, and at a younger age.
How Can I make a plan to get my children back?
Getting custody back once sober requires dedication and perseverance. Don’t give up hope, though. Getting custody of your kids back is possible if you put in the effort and time. First, get some legal advice; you may qualify for free legal aid.
To regain custody, you must prove to the court that you: have completed some form of addiction treatment, are actively sustaining recovery, and are not using Alcohol or drugs currently.
Based on the severity of your case and whether you were arrested or not, the time it takes to do this can vary. For some, it may take years, while it could be a matter of months for others. There are many things you can do to help the process along.
Stay involved in the recovery community by going to regular meetings and other events. Attend counseling sessions or take a class on parenting. Keep a consistent job and maintain your financial responsibilities. Keep your home in a condition that would be suitable for a child: clean and safe.
Make sure you document everything you do. Save every form or report, and document every step, even if it seems small. With the right perseverance, you will be reunited before you know it.
How do I go about finding help for addiction?
We understand how difficult it can be to be in a situation where CPS is intervening, taking, or wanting to take your children. We have helped patients get through situations like this and have witnessed the mothers and fathers in evidence-based treatment programs reunite with their children after meeting the requirements of CPS.
If you are in a situation where you are being investigated by CPS or have had your children taken, we can help you. We can provide you with resources.
Treatment programs that will admit you and communicate with CPS during your stay.
A drug and alcohol rehab will be by your side through the entire CPS case process and be in contact directly with CPS case managers, giving them updates on your progress status.
Staff can accompany you to any court dates or hearings and ensure that you have all the support you need.
Proving your willingness to do the right thing for your children is very important. The healing journey starts today. Let us help you take back control of your life.
If you are being investigated by CPS, DCF, or DSS time is critical. Get the help you need for addiction now and be the parent you were meant to be. Call us now at (888) 906-0952
How Does Addiction Affect Children Across America?
Reports of Abuse and Neglect
Child Abuse Victims in Foster Care
Deaths Related to Child Abuse and Neglect
Rates of Sexual Abuse and Child Sex Trafficking
Child Abuse is Widespread and Leads Children to Have Difficult Lives
Social Services are Named Differently Depending on State
- Child Protective Services (CPS)
- Department of Social Services (DSS)
- Department of Children and Families (DCF)
- Department of Youth and Addiction (DYFS)
While the names of these organizations may vary depending on your state, their mission is the same. They must ensure the safety and well-being of children. Addiction can cause a tremendous amount of dysfunction, which, more often than not, places children directly in harm’s way.
Parents who are being investigated by social services for drug or alcohol us are likely to feel fearful and unsure of what to do. Dealing with social services can be confusing. Read on to learn more about what to do in these situations and how to gain your parental rights back in full.
- Drug Addiction Affects on the Family
Understanding the family dynamics and how addiction alters it can provide much-needed insight and therefore healing for everyone.
- Growing up With an Addicted Parent
Learn about the short and long-term effects on the children of addicted parents.
- 4 Ways to Help Children Understand Addiction
A guide on navigating important conversations. Here’s how to prepare and what to know.