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I am having trouble working with Child Protective Services. What can I do?

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As the nation's voice for the protection of children and animals, American Humane Association does not get involved in individual cases of child abuse and/or neglect. How child abuse and neglect reports are handled varies significantly by State and local laws and procedures.

You may choose to file a complaint about how CPS is handling your case. This process also is unique to your State, county or city. Some states have an ombudsman that manages incoming complaints. You may find more information about ombudsman programs at Given that each state is different, we suggest contacting your local CPS hotline and requesting information about your ombudsman or the process for filing a complaint in your area. You may also try using a search engine (e.g., Google, Yahoo, etc.) with the search terms "[your state or city] ombudsman". This should result in contact information for your local ombudsman, if applicable.

If you or your family are currently involved in the child welfare system, you may need legal advice. American Humane Association does not provide legal advice on specific cases of child abuse or neglect. However, we do suggest you contact the American Bar Association at or 1-800-285-2221. Even if you think you cannot afford the cost of a lawyer, there are options for you. A lawyer working pro bono (for public good) may be available to assist you. To find pro bono advice, please see or contact 1-800-285-2221. If you are looking for specific information on state and federal child welfare laws, is a helpful resource.

For a more exhaustive list of available resources, please see:

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