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Child Protective Services

Photo of a young girl on a swing with her mother behind her.

CPS/Impact & Reunification

Child Protective Services

  • The purpose of this information is to assist Law Enforcement in understanding the legal status of children when they are under the purview of CPS, who maintains custody of dependent children, and how to respond when a dependent child has been abducted.

  • If a child is under Dependency Court supervision, including a child that is lawfully placed with their parent AND is abducted by the parent or legal guardian, this is considered a Child Abduction. If the child is taken/abducted by a relative of NREFM, this may be considered a kidnapping. The information provided is a guideline if one of the following circumstances occurs. Please note processes may differ by County

  • Children who have been placed in foster care or relative/NREFM care due to substantiated abuse and/or neglect by their parents and/or legal guardians may be at risk of abduction from these placements by their parents. The following information will provide tips and resources to prevent abduction of children placed in your care.

  • When children are located/recovered after being abducted, an assessment of their physical and emotional well-being is key. The child should be medically cleared and when assessing the child for behavioral/mental health interventions, the following topics may be helpful to explore with the child when referring to behavioral/mental health services for the child

  • If you suspect that a child's health or safety is jeopardized due to abuse or neglect by parents or other caretaker who has custody of the child, contact the child protective services agency in your county. These 24-hour Hotlines are staffed by trained social workers. If you are reporting suspected child abuse or neglect regarding children in another county please contact that county's child protective services agency.

  • Welfare and Institutions Code (WIC) 827 indicates who may inspect a case file with and without a Court order.

  • Children's Advocacy Centers of California is an organization dedicated to helping local communities respond to allegations of child abuse in ways that are effective and efficient – and put the needs of child victims first.