Child Protective Service Cases
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Child Protective Service (CPS) cases in Ohio can be complicated. In theory, public children services agencies in Ohio investigate allegations of child injuries, abuse or neglect. Unfortunately, the agency sometimes can have the exact opposite effect. Children who are placed in homes sometimes suffer horrific injuries and abuse.
At Merriman Legal, LLC, our knowledgeable legal team has worked on behalf of children throughout Ohio. We know how to investigate abuse allegations and make sure an affected child will obtain justice.
In Cleveland, such cases often fall under the jurisdiction of Cuyahoga County Child and Family Services. Our attorneys know how to deal directly with them or other government agencies.
Even if you are an adult and were victimized years ago, you still may have grounds to file a lawsuit against the agency that placed you into a dangerous environment. Contact a child advocate attorney in Cleveland today to learn about your rights.
What are common Child Protective Service cases?
Child protective service allegations should be taken seriously right from the start. Some of the most serious allegations include:
- Failure to screen suitable adoptive / foster parents: Social Service agencies in both public and private context and other professions that provide screening and placement services for foster or adoptive children must meet rigorous requirements before deeming an adoptive foster parent suitable to have a child placed in their home. This must be done to protect the children from those with ulterior motives in offering substitute care settings for kids.
- Failure to preserve the family: Custodial agencies that place foster and adoptive children must assure that full disclosure of a child’s history and behaviors of aggressive and of a sexual nature is made to any family willing to accept the child in their home before the child is places with a family in order to preserve the family and protect the children already in the home.
- Failure to report child abuse or neglect: Under Ohio law and the law of most states, certain professionals are under a mandatory requirement to report suspicion of abuse or neglect. Generally, these include social workers, psychologists or counselors, teachers, doctors and others. The failure to report is a violation of statute and gives rise to claims should a child suffer continuing harm.
One case in particular our attorneys are currently dealing with involves a home, a healthcare provider, and county child protection agencies. Acting on behalf of a client, our law firm filed a lawsuit against the company in connection with the starvation death of a disabled child and the severe malnourishment of his disabled siblings. The claims include negligence, medical negligence and reckless conduct by the county agencies for failing to report neglect, failing to investigate neglect and failing to follow up once on notice of neglect.
In another claim, 11 children were adopted by a couple who had met in sexual abuse counseling, after being approved as suitable foster/adoptive parents by a private counselor, private and public placement agencies. The children suffered abuse at the hands of the parents who kept them in cages and were alleged to have subjected them to other physical and mental abuse. Claims were pursued against the counselors, social workers, and public and private agencies on behalf of all 11 children.
Protections were also required of a family that accepted placement of a foster child into their home with their developmentally disabled children because the country child protection agency concealed his history of sexually abusing other children.