Law Provides Protection for Families
Arizona has one of the best social services contact laws in the nation. Specifically, upon initial contact with a parent, a social worker must notify the family that they are under investigation, inform them of the general allegations, and make it clear that the social worker has no legal authority to compel the family to cooperate or receive protective services. Refusal to cooperate in the investigation by the parents does not constitute grounds for the agency to seize temporary custody of a child except where there is clear and present danger to the child.
A social worker is required to inform the family of his authority to petition the juvenile court for an order to enter the home. If the family refuses to cooperate with a request to interview the children, the department of social services can petition a court for temporary investigative custodybut only when the child appears to be imminent danger.
Additionally, home schooling parents should be aware that Arizona child protective services workers do not have the authority to investigate absences from school. Only school district personnel may conduct such investigations.
Home School Legal Defense Association members in Arizona can be thankful for legislators who understand the need to protect families from abuse that can be committed by the department of social services.