Failure To Protect
In Michigan, failure to protect children is one of the most common allegations made by Children's Protective Services workers. A parent or other caregiver who is accused of failure to protect must be defended well by a competent neglect-abuse defense attorney. At Kronzek & Cronkright, PLLC, our mission is to defend parents from allegations which can cost them their parental rights or their freedom. If you are being accused of failure to protect your children, you should take advantage of our offer for a free initial consultation. You can call us at 866-346-5879. We have attorneys on call to take your call 24/7.
What is Failure to Protect?
Basically, Michigan law imposes a duty on parents, guardians, and other caregivers to protect children from known dangers. Unfortunately, many parents find themselves in court defending failure to protect allegations when there is no evidence to suggest that the parent was on notice of a known harm. To understand this, we have to discuss how these charges are typically brought to court.
The Two-Parent Petition
In a typical scenario, a petition is filed in court alleging different issues for each parent. In other words, one parent is accused of abuse and the other is accused of failure to protect. The most common tactic of the petitioner (usually CPS) is to play one parent against the other. The "divide and conquer" strategy works quite well for CPS. Typically, it works like this: CPS will offer permanent placement to the parent accused of failure to protect if that parent will help them by entering a plea or testifying against the other parent.
Thus, breaking up the family is a principal objective of CPS. Further, in cases where the allegation is coming from a child, it gets worse. When a parent is presented with an allegation from a child, the other parent is expected to believe the child even when the factual basis for the allegations is suspect. A parent who says, "I don't know." is deemed to be incapable of protecting the child in the future.
In this way, CPS often penalizes a parent who does not know what to believe about the allegations. Thus, a parent who desires to keep the family together is deemed unfit to be a parent.
The Role of the Defense Attorney
It is clear that there are instances when a parent should distance herself or himself from the other parent. For example, when one parent very clearly intentionally abuses a child causing a severe injury. However, the role of the defense attorney is to determine the feasibility of keeping the family together. The first response of the CPS worker is to break up the family. This should not be the first response of the defense attorney. Defense attorneys have an ethical obligation to determine what the clients want to happen and advocate for solutions designed to accomplish that.
At Kronzek & Cronkright, we believe in keeping families together when it can be done. This perspective distinguishes us from a large portion of attorneys who practice in this area.
Michigan's Premier Failure to Protect Defense Team
Because we believe in parents, we believe in defending their parental rights. We have been highly successful in cases because we have learned how to advocate for keeping families together. This is a worthwhile objective. Children need to be raised by their parents and not by the state.