Child protective services (CPS) agencies play a necessary and important role in responding to child abuse and neglect.

Anyone may make a report to CPS if he or she has reason to believe that a child is being neglected or abused by a parent or other person. CPS then investigates to determine whether abuse is happening and provides protection to the child if needed.

Not all reports to CPS are founded in fact. Sometimes the person reporting abuse misunderstands the situation. For example, a neighbor may see homeschooled children playing outside during the day and assume that the children are being educationally neglected because they are not in school. 

Sometimes a person intentionally makes a false or exaggerated report. Sometimes a person who is mandated by law to report abuse or neglect uses poor judgment and unnecessarily reports a family under the belief that they will lose their license or be sanctioned if they do not.

In such cases, homeschooling families may find themselves undergoing an investigation even though their children are safe and well cared for.

These guidelines are intended for the use of Home School Legal Defense Association members only. If you are not a member, we invite you to learn about HSLDA and join. These guidelines are not legal advice. These guidelines are general in nature and may not apply in specific situations.