What is Child Protective Services?

Washoe County Department of Social Services (also called Child Protective Services, CPS or Social Services) is required by Nevada law to investigate reports of suspected child abuse and neglect. The focus of CPS is to protect children from harm and to make sure that children live in safe environments. The actions taken by Social Services are determined by the family`s situation. Washoe County Department of Social Services must make efforts to help families overcome problems, but sometimes children must be removed from their homes to ensure their safety.
 
Any legal action taken by Social Services takes place in Family Court as a civil matter, not a criminal matter. The police may investigate child abuse and neglect but it is a separate process from a CPS investigation. The police and the criminal division of the District Attorney`s Office make the decision to arrest or file criminal charges, not Social Services.