How Long Can CPS Keep A Case Open (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 60 – 90 Days 

CPS, or Child Protective Services, is a government organization responsible for protecting children from neglect and abuse. 

Though the purpose of CPS is noble, there have been many cases in which the organization has been criticized for keeping investigations open long after they are necessary. 

The law requires the CPS to investigate all child abuse reports it receives, regardless of their validity or falsity. 

These investigations might range from a simple conversation to a full inquiry. Upon receiving the complaint, an officer will contact within 72 hours to inquire if the child is abused or neglected.

How Long Can Cps Keep A Case Open


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How Long Can CPS Keep A Case Open?

Type Duration
CPS case open60 to 90 days
CPS case close45 days

There is no set time frame for how long CPS can keep a case open, as each case is unique and may require different agency involvement levels. 

In general, however, CPS will continue to investigate a case until it has been determined that the child is safe and any potential risks have been mitigated. As a result, it may take 60 to 90 days to keep the case open.

Rather, the length of time that CPS will investigate a case depends on several factors, including the nature of the allegations, the availability of evidence, and the cooperation of those involved.

Generally speaking. However, CPS will try to close a case as quickly as possible while still conducting a thorough investigation. If it is determined that abuse or neglect has occurred, then CPS may pursue legal action to protect the child or children involved.

By law, the individual who files the report must remain anonymous. However, if a doctor, lawyer, therapist, or clergyman suspects child abuse or neglect, they must make a report.

A community member who is 18 years or older must report any case that they know or have reasonable cause to believe involves child abuse.

A person would not only be required to physically contact the Department of Child Protective Services with this information but also provide supporting documents such as court records, hospital records and so on. 

In some circumstances, Child Protective Services may initiate an investigation without being notified by someone from the public.

Why Would CPS Keep A Case Open For So Long?

There are multiple reasons why CPS may keep a case open for an extended period. One reason may be that the child is still in danger. 

Another reason may be that CPS is still investigating the case and has not yet decided whether or not one should remove the child from home. A third reason may be that CPS is working with the family to provide services and support to keep the child safe in the home.

Case reports for investigations involving Child Protective Services (CPS) can be made to one of three different agencies. The decision about which agency receives the report depends on the nature of the case, e.g., whether or not there is an imminent danger or harm to a child, whether or not it is an emergency, and the risk factors related to each party.

Each case is different, so it’s difficult to say why CPS would keep a specific case open for an extended period. However, there are many possible reasons why they would do so.

Any person can report the case; the person making the report must be sure that their accusations are candid and base them on concrete evidence such as pictures, videos, messages, etc. Reporting cases of possible abuse just based on speculations will not stand for long.

Each jurisdiction decides where reports will go based on local policies and laws that guide who will be designated as mandated reporters in their area: law enforcement officers, hospital personnel, daycare personnel, mental health professionals, and many more.


After receiving a complaint, a CPS investigator may take several actions. They may begin by visiting the kid’s home, their parents, foster parents, or family members to talk with them. 

They might physically examine the child’s body for any evidence of maltreatment to prevent future injuries.

Child Protective Services will notify the child’s parents in writing and give any documents filed with the court. The investigator’s written statement will include all of this information. 



Last Updated : 23 February, 2024

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