How long does a CPS case stay open?

Children’s safety is one of the most important issues in the legal arena in the United States of America. In all the states, there are specific laws, rules, and regulations concerning the safety and protection of children. Every state has specific laws enforcing agency Child Protective Service (CPS), which works for all of the allegations that arise regarding child abuse and neglect.

It is a common query of the people as to how long a CPS case stays open. As long as the CPS case stays open, the alleged victim is in an uneasy situation. Here we have discussed elaborately the staying open of the CPS case.

When a CPS case stays open for less than a month?

The opening of the case depends on the merits of the case. It also depends on the investigation process and whether the investigation is a traditional or alternative response. The investigation of Alternative Response is less intrusive than the traditional one.

But there is no specific time farming in keeping open the CPS case. If the CPS finds nothing in the first inspection, then they do not proceed further. If they find the case unsubstantiated after conducting the investigation, quickly solving it can take up to one or more months.

When a CPS case stays open for years?

But, some cases stay open years to years, cases of severe nature. A CPS case stays open till all of the legal procedures do not end. If the courts get involved in the case, then the case is for additional time. The hearing of the case needs enough time to dissolve the case properly.

As the individual states have their own laws, rules, and regulations, the legal procedure for dissolving the case also differs. So the time of staying open a case also varies from state to state.

The court gets involved in the CPS case firstly for the purpose of removing the child. If the child is removed from the custody of the parents, then the parents get 12 months to prove that the home is safe for the children.

After getting the information, within 72 hours, the CPS will start the process of the investigations.

Why is a CPS case still open after disclosure?

Though the case is disclosed, it may stay open due to the safety plans that usually last from 60 to 90 days, and in some cases, more depending on the situation. When you have a safety plan with the CPS and the child is in the custody of someone else, the period will not be more than 90 days. If the safety plan is with the children under your custody, it may be for the next 6–9 months.

In the case of the CPS investigation in all of the states, it usually takes 30 to 60 days to complete the whole investigation. However, they can get extra time for reasonable grounds when they cannot complete the investigation.

If the investigation of the case reveals an unsubstantiated exception in some states, the case is solved within a few months. However, the case stays open in some states even though it is unsubstantiated.

After the investigation, if the case is substantiated, more formal legal proceedings will follow. The process of requesting to make the case unsubstantiated and the hearing may extend for a year or more.

When the CPS infringes upon your rights during the course of the investigation, they are to move to the courts to seek a civil remedy. So, it will take extra time related to the CPS case.

What factors determine the timing?

When the case is closed after the investigations, the CPS notifies the alleged victim within 90 days of the investigation results.

The CPS will continue their engagement in the case until the finding of the cases and until ensuring the safety of the cases.

The length of keeping a CPS case open also depends on the cooperation of the parents or guardian. If they refuse to cooperate with the CPS in conducting their investigation, it will be more difficult than usual, so they will have to expend more time and take more action. On the other hand, if the parents or guardians cooperate with the CPS, they can easily conduct their investigations and reach a decision regarding the founding or not-founding of the cases.


Finally, we may reach the conclusion that the opening of the CPS case depends on the nature and merits of the case. In the case of a severe nature, such as physical abuse, the opening of the case is lengthier than the usual years to years, while the unfounded case may open only for a few months. The safety plan also increases the period for keeping a case open.


  • How long does a founded CPS case stay on your record in Virginia?

It mostly depended on the nature of the cases. Upon the basis of the nature of the case, the founded CPS case stays on your record in Virginia from 3 to 18 years. 

  • When can CPS remove a child from home in California?

CPS is empowered to take the child from the custody of the parents in California if they feel that the child is in danger, even for the reason of imminent danger.

  • How long does a CPS case stay on your record in CA?

CPS cases usually stay on the record in California for ten years after the youngest child reaches the age of 18.

  • How long does CPS have to investigate in NY?

In New York, CPS has to close a case within 60 days.

  • How long does a substantiated CPS report stay on your record in Ohio?

The CPS case in Ohio that stays on the record varies on the merits of the case. In the substantiated case, it stays for ten years; in the indicated case, it stays for three years; and in the unsubstantiated case, it stays for three months.

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