At Sundance Canyon Academy, we have worked with numerous families out of options for dealing with their unruly teens. When CPS (Child Protective Services) gets involved, you know the situation with your son is getting serious. We are writing on this topic to give parents some ideas on proceeding once CPS is involved. If you have been cooperating with CPS and you feel like you are out of options, contact us for more information about our school for troubled teens.
The teen years can be a tumultuous time for a lot of families. Teenage rebellion is so cliche that there’s a whole category of movies about teen drama and teen angst. During the high school years, kids tend to branch out from their families, make new friends, and try new hobbies. When their friends and hobbies get them involved in illegal or dangerous activities, teenagers can find themselves in a lot of trouble.
If your teen has been getting in trouble at school or in the streets, you’re bound to deal with some of the consequences of their actions. As a parent, this can be infuriating and extremely worrisome. You know that their behavior can have life-changing ramifications, but they don’t always seem to care.
If your kid’s behavior goes too far, CPS might get involved. When that happens, you need to understand Child Service’s roles in teen behavioral issues.
Child Protective Services and Teen Behavioral Issues
You should know that CPS is required to follow up with (almost) every report that they receive, whether it’s an accurate report or not. So if CPS shows up at your door, they’re just following protocol. Always be polite and remember that they’re genuinely trying to help.
Work with them as much as you see fit to get the best outcome for your kid. There are some things that they can do without your permission, but there are several things that they can’t do without either having your permission or having a court order. You both have your son’s best interest in mind, and he needs to stop his dangerous or illegal behavior. Use your resources to help him improve his behavior.
What CPS cannot do:
Enter your home without either having a warrant or getting your permission. You are not legally required to let CPS workers into your home. So if you feel like having them there would cause more harm than good, you don’t have to let them in unless they come with a police officer who has a warrant.
Drug test you without either having your permission or having a court order. During their investigation, CPS workers might ask you to take a drug test. You are not required to take one. This changes if a judge has ordered you to take drug tests. Without that order, though, you can cooperate as much as you see fit.
What CPS can do:
Talk to your kid without your permission. During their investigation, they might try to talk to your kid while you’re not around. They want to hear from the child without worrying that the parent might influence the conversation. If you’re worried that your kid might be lying to them, make sure that you’re telling the truth when you talk to them, and try to have proof to back up what you say.
Get the police involved. If you’re not cooperating with CPS or if they feel like the situation is too unsafe, they can get the police involved. However, CPS workers would rather not take it that far. They’re just doing their job to ensure that the teen in question (your kid) lives in a safe environment. They don’t want extra paperwork and legal involvement.
Make court recommendations. If your kid has already gotten in legal trouble, CPS workers can make court recommendations based on their findings.
Give you helpful recommendations. CPS workers have a lot of resources in the community. If your son needs some extra support, they can recommend places you can go and things you can try to help him get back on track.
Remove your kid from the home. If the CPS workers deem that your child is living in an unsafe situation, they can remove your kid from the home and place him elsewhere. This is a worst-case scenario. Contrary to popular belief, CPS workers don’t want to take kids from their homes. When a kid does get removed, they want to work with the families to get back to a place where the kid can safely return home. They don’t want more kids in the foster care system. They want them to live safely with their families.
If CPS is involved due to your teen’s unruly behavior, work with them to get your kid’s behavior under control. It’s really hard to have CPS involved in your home life, but your kid’s life will be even harder as an adult if he doesn’t change his behavior now. The ultimate goal should be helping your son stop his dangerous or illegal behavior and develop positive life skills while he’s still a teenager.
Some teens refuse to change their behavior even when CPS is involved. If that’s the case for your son, he might benefit from attending a therapeutic boarding school for troubled teens. While away at school, he wouldn’t be able to get into legal trouble or hang out with friends who negatively influence him. On the flip side, he would get to participate in life skills training and receive therapeutic intervention to address his previous behavior.
Call us at 866-225-3708 to find out if our school is right for your son.