Child Abuse and Neglect

Unfortunately, those who care for or work with children are at risk of being accused of maltreating these children. Mr. Schweitzer has significant experience representing caregivers, parents and those who work with children when it is alleged that abuse or neglect may have occurred and the individual runs the risk of being placed into the “child protection register”. Sometimes people seek legal help only after the investigation results in a finding that abuse or neglect has occurred. It is usually wiser to contact a lawyer when the threat of investigation first arises, especially if, as in abuse situations, there is a possibility of criminal prosecution.

While a finding of indicated or founded is the most serious outcome a finding of unsubstantiated or unfounded can have serious consequences for certain people, such as child care professionals, parents involved in custody disputes or those who are engaged in an adoption.

Mr. Schweitzer can also represent parents and caretakers in the judicial process involving child abuse and neglect proceedings (CINA or “child in need of assistance”).

In the past few years it has been noticed that parents who vigorously advocate for their children in special education or similar settings have found themselves the target of allegations by school employees that the children are being maltreated by the parents. These allegations, even though eventually proven to be baseless and perhaps retaliatory, do trigger an investigation by child protective services that requires parents to seek legal assistance quickly.

Sometimes caretakers must confront allegations of “inadequate supervision” or “negligent supervision” also known as “left alone” or “free range children” cases. The outcome will turn on the particular facts and can lead to a criminal charge for “reckless endangerment”. Mr. Schweitzer provides representation in all child maltreatment cases, whether the allegations are abuse, such as excessive corporal punishment or neglect.