What is a CPS Investigator?
Child Protective Services by (CPS) investigators investigate allegations of child abuse and neglect. They have the difficult task of figuring out what happened and predicting what will happen in the future. CPS receives and investigates reports of abuse and neglect 24 hours per day, every day of the year.
A CPS investigation includes interviewing and gathering information to see if abuse or neglect happened and if intervention is necessary. The investigator considers both risk and safety issues and may recommend services for the child and family to reduce the risk of further abuse or neglect.
The purpose of a CPS investigation is to:
- See if a child can safely live with their family.
- Find out if abuse or neglect happened.
- Learn whether other children in the family are victims of abuse or neglect.
- Determine if there is a risk of abuse or neglect in the future.
- Develop a plan, if needed, to keep the child or children safe.
Sounds good, but what other kinds of things will I be doing?
- Responding quickly in crisis situations that involve children in an abusive or neglectful situation. Sometimes these situations can be dangerous.
- Investigating allegations of child abuse or neglect and taking the necessary steps to protect children. This could include removing a child from their family.
- Interviewing people in the case such as the person who reports it, family members, doctors, nurses, and others familiar with the family situation.
- Checking children for signs of abuse or neglect. This may involve serious injuries.
- Talking frankly and objectively with families about income, money management, sex abuse, and personal relationships that they will probably consider personal and private.
- Testifying in court and preparing comprehensive reports of investigative findings that support recommendations to the court.
- Documenting all relevant and appropriate information and completing all required forms.
- Serving as liaison to social service agencies, schools, local law enforcement agencies, and attorneys.
- Working under constant deadlines that require prioritizing efforts and flexible work hours.
- Maintaining a balance of objectivity and empathy for families living in stressful and crisis situations.
- Other duties as assigned.
Do I have to have a degree?
Yes, to be a caseworker you must have a four-year college degree. It doesn’t have to be a social work or human services degree but those are preferred.
What would my salary be?
It depends on experience and qualifications. This position may be filled at any level from a CPS Specialist II to a CPS Specialist IV. The starting salary range is $2,644.08 to $2,970.91 per month and is based on the qualifications of the individual.
In addition to salary, CPS investigators are paid a $416 monthly stipend. You will start getting this extra pay the first of the month after 120 days on the job. You must remain in CPS investigations to keep getting this pay.
I think I could do this job, but will I get training?
Yes! You will have lots of great training before beginning your job. And while you will visit clients on your own, you will have ongoing support from your co-workers and supervisor any time you need it.
Are there opportunities for career advancement?
Yes! You will get ongoing training to prepare you to advance. There are various levels of certification.
Condition of Employment
You must have and maintain a valid Texas driver's license. CPS will also do a criminal background check and CPS history check on all applicants.
Want to learn more about what it's like to work for CPS?