Attorney for Child Protective Services (CPS) Case

Archived Q&A and Reviews


Fighting CPS

May 2014

I'm looking for a list of lawyers who specialize in fighting for parents against CPS in or around Berkeley.
Child Prison Service victim

I strongly recommend Carin Johnson of The Law Offices of Johnson and Johnson. They are based in Walnut Creek and one of the only 10 lawyers in the entire state of California that actually know what they are doing when it comes to CPS and false allegations etc. Her website is: Her passion is unbelievable and she is an very experienced trial attorney who has good relationships with important key players in this game. I could not recommend her any higher!

a family who was falsely accused by cps

Need family lawyer, navigating CPS

Aug 2009

I need to find a family lawyer who has experience navigating the CPS system on behalf of a 5 year old who was recently molested. I would be *very* grateful for a recommendation! anon

My heart goes out to you. While I have experience dealing with the court system in a matter such as yours, we didn't hire an attorney and the case was handled by the DA. There were many times I wish we HAD hired an attorney. You are wise to do so.

If you ever need someone to talk with about this... being a non-offending parent in a CSA case is so incredibly hard... feel free to email me. Support groups for us are few and far between (at least my thorough searching yielded only one in our area).

Family lawyer to advise about CPS

May 2008

Child Protective Services received two reports of our kindergarten-aged daughter's misbehavior which led them to suspect she is being molested. They want to put her through a ''forensic interview'' by someone who is trained at this. We are considering refusing this request on the grounds that the reports are unsubstantiated, anonymous, lacking in detail (from our point of view), not to mention that we believe the social worker's suspicions are unfounded. We have asked our daughter about it in detail. Our daughter says she has not been touched inappropriately by anyone, that she doesn't know why people keep asking her about this (the social worker already interviewed her twice at school without our prior knowledge or consent) and she says she does not want to be interviewed any more.

The social worker say that ''it will look bad for us'' and ''she will write us up'' if we don't comply with the interview request. She doesn't care that our daughter denies any molestation and doesn't want to be interviewed any more. Can anyone recommend a family lawyer in the Berkeley area who could advise us of our rights and help us write CPS a letter of protest? We would also appreciate comments or advice from anyone who has been put through anything like this. Many thanks in advance.

Try Jed Somit. He's very aggressive in defending men accused of molesting their children or stepchildren, regardless of the circumstances. Good luck to your child

In my opinion, CPS functions in a way that is almost as draconian as is the IRS. There are many instances where CPS has either ignored true child abuse with tragic results, or has savaged parents who are totally blameless. I would recommend resisting the ''interview'' and hiring a good attorney to deal with those people ASAP. I recommend Frank Presto, in Pleasanton, who has experience in both Family Law and criminal law. Robert

I cannot refer you to an attorney as I don't know of any, but my advice is to go to the forensic interview. And stop pumping your daughter for info. The interviewers are SPECIALISTS and do not traumatize the kids at all. In fact, they are trained to NOT retraumatize. Truly, what do you have to lose by her going to it? And what if she has been sexually abused? Wouldn't you want to know? Sorry, but as the parent of two sexually abused kids I really don't understand why you are fighting this. CPS definitely takes it as a sign of hiding something. And if something comes out could be charged with failure to protect. The problem with child sex abuse is that most often the children do not disclose and the abuse continues. It is the silence that perpetuates the cycle. And I would recommend that you get a really good therapist for your daughter. I would also ask what sorts of behaviors she has been displaying. It really takes a lot for teachers to report. M! y kids didn't tell until the abuse had been going on for years. My daughter finally told when she was 4 and had been being molested for 2 yrs. My son still will not tell... but we know because of the perpetrator's confession. 

I'm not a lawyer, but I've worked in CPS in Santa Clara County for 8 years. I have a friend who worked in Monterey County CPS who has her JD in addition to LCSW and is studying for the bar currently. If you want to email me offline, you can ask me questions and I can forward them to my friend. I would ask you for more info on the symptoms your daughter exhibited at school. Most kids will not tell their parents if they have been molested, because the perp can play some major mindgames on kids to prevent them from doing so. A parental interview is not going to be considered very credible. My advice would be to take your daughter to your own private therapist/psychologist for assessment/treatment, provide CPS with documentation that your daughter is attending, and they will very likely back off, because you're taking care of the problem yourself. I would recommend a therapist who is trained in Theraplay, Dyadic Developmental Therapy, or Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behaviora! l Therapy, depending on your daughter's type of behaviors which are of concern. Unfortunately, one in three girls will be sexually abused before they reach the age of 18. My daughter, whom I adopted from foster care, was removed from her birth family for this very reason, 4 years later continues to exhibit behavioral and emotional symptoms of sexual abuse, but if I ask her about being sexually abused by her family members, she will continue to deny it. I certainly hope that your daughter did not experience any trauma or abuse, but if a child has had traumatic experiences, the sooner she receives appropriate treatment, the sooner she can start the healing process and the less it will impact her life and adult relationships. Andrea

I don't have a recommendation for a family law attorney, but I will tell you what the attorney is likely to say. You as a parent really don't have a right to refuse to let your child be interviewed. State law gives CPS the authority to interview your child without your consent. As for whether the report to CPS was unsubstantiated or anonymous, you really don't have access to the files. So you don't know what info they do have. When CPS gets a report, they assess it, and if they feel there is sufficient evidence to warrant investigation, they will investigate. If I were in your shoes, I would just let them do the interview. Are you SURE that your daughter hasn't been the victim of someone? know a little about CPS

Need a lawyer experienced with Child Protective Services

Oct 2003

hi, I need to find a family lawyer who has experience with how the Child Protective Services system works. There is an ongoing CPS investigation which is supposed to determine whether my toddler is being sexually abused. Because my child is young, CPS has been slow to come to any conclusions, and their investigation, though still open, has been completely inactive over the past couple of months. I haven't found a way to stop my child's other parent from visiting my child (unsupervised visits are court ordered and still ongoing). I need to find someone who can help me work with CPS and the family court services system to come up with a visitation schedule that is not a risk to my young child. I would sincerely appreciate any leads you might be able to give me. anonymous

Here's a quote from a lawyer I know [I asked about your concern]:

''Sounds to me like this person's case is in Family Court, and a Family Court judge has ruled it premature to have supervised visits. In cases such as this, there is usually dirt on both sides..... And since every case keeps the same judge throughout, judges know the case history pretty well.

The only way to get CPS moving is for the person to motivate the Family Court Services mediator handling her case, or, provide evidence something new has occurred. However, given CPS speed of late, if something new happens, I would file an Emergency Screening before a judge instead.

Another CPS thought: Unfortunately, the budget cutbacks have slashed resources and staff. So, the person needs to phone and write letters regularly.

However, once the person gets before a judge again, she/he really needs to pin the judge down to reasons why the current custody order remains in place.''

I hope it helps. -anon