Many dependency cases alleging neglect are often initiated by reports made by individuals including witnesses, neighbors, family members or police. The report then triggers a visit by a social worker.
Dependency cases alleging child abuse or child molestation are often the result of reports made by mandatory reporters such as doctors, psychologists, school teachers and police.
The social worker can often be very rude, demanding and bossy. In cases where there is allegations of neglect, the social worker will be conduct a thorough investigation of your home and make sure it is up to their standards and their is proper food and clothing in the home. This same social worker is attempting to determine whether the parent should agree to a voluntary case plan. Anything you say to the social worker can be used against you in dependency court as well as the criminal court.
Many social workers will threaten removal of your child unless you speak with them concerning the allegations. Most social workers are willing to allow the child to be placed with a responsible relative if they have no criminal record and can provide an adequate placement for the child. Prior to placement a life-scan usually needs to be completed, which is a complete background check. In cases involving allegations of child molestation, most social workers will agree to a plan to have the child living with a legal guardian living in a separate location that the accused defendant. When dealing with social workers, it is generally a good idea to keep a journal and keep good notes. If the social worker decides to file a Welfare and Institutions Section 300 petition they will write a report based on their discussions with you and inspection of the home. There are usually a lot of incorrect statements in these reports so it is beneficial to have exactly what you told the social worker written down to provide to your attorney.