Early Defense for Parents Facing ACS Investigations

Families already living under close surveillance of police, shelter, and hospital staff are also the families most at risk of ACS investigations. Families are subjected to middle-of-the-night visits, body searches of their children, and invasive questioning about their family and relationship history. Families often agree to sign documents waiving privacy rights out of fear of losing their children. Given the serious and harmful nature of ACS investigations, parents should have access to legal assistance during an investigation. There is widespread agreement that families facing investigations benefit from early representation. Access to legal assistance at the beginning of an investigation can ensure that parents understand the process, have immediate access to important supportive services and can help avoid family court filings or the removal of children.



Are you being investigated by ACS right now? Visit Your Family, Your Rights to learn more about the family regulation system, gain access to legal information and resources, and help change this system.


The New Republic Article: How the Pandemic Became an Unplanned Experiment in Abolishing the Child Welfare System


Center for New York City Affairs Article: Why a Child Welfare ‘Miranda Rights’ Law Is Essential

An illustration of a parent helping their child get ready for school at home.

Transform the System

Be part of the growing movement of parents, lawyers, and other advocates who are working to transform the family regulation system in New York. Visit BDS' advocacy website, Your Family, Your Rights, to learn how to take action.