In the law enforcement context, police are required to read people in custody their rights. But CPS caseworkers have no equivalent mandate to inform parents of their rights in a child protective investigation, despite the similarly high stakes. Keeping parents in the dark about their rights is particularly harmful to low-income Black and Brown Families, who are investigated by CPS at disproportionate rates.
S5484-B (Brisport) / A6792-A (Walker) would empower families in these situations by requiring CPS agents to provide parents with their rights in a child protective investigation at the first point of contact. This would allow them to make informed decisions that best serve their family, including the crucial decision to seek timely legal representation. It is an urgent matter of basic fairness and the NYCLU supports its prompt passage.