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When Children and Youth Services contact you to say that you are under investigation for child abuse or neglect it can be a very frightening and confusing experience. Your initial response can affect the ultimate decision as to whether you are determined to be indicated for child abuse and your name ends up on a child abuse registry.
As with a criminal investigation, everyone, regardless of any fault, has a constitutional right to remain silent and our attorneys can help you decide whether it is in your best interest to speak with or otherwise assist Children and Youth in their investigation. The fact that you have an attorney cannot be used against you. Your statements, however, can be used against you. Not only can your statements be used for the purpose of indicating child abuse, but your statements can be used to build a case against you and to file criminal charges for child abuse.
Our attorneys can advise you, before you speak with Children and Youth caseworkers, on whether making a statement or providing information is the right step to take.
If a child abuse accusation has already been indicated, you have a right to appeal that decision and become entitled to a hearing on the accusation. At the hearing you can present witnesses, records and other evidence and make an argument that the indicated finding be reversed and determined to be unfounded.