CPS


Texas Department of Family and Protective Services 2
I thought I would start off this blog with a bit of information on what types of things to watch out for that can get DFPS (Department of Family and Protective Services, the umbrella organization for CPS) involved in your life.  Most of the time, when people are looking up or contacting lawyers about their dealings with CPS they are usually very confused.  In most cases, parents feel they have done nothing wrong (and in fact, a reasonable person might even feel they have done nothing wrong) and yet, they are being “investigated” by the government for how they parent their children.  I certainly sympathize with this, as most people really have no easy way of finding out information about the process.  My goal is to hopefully bring a bit more transparency into the area, and hopefully be able to help some families avoid a lot of hassle later. First of all, it is important to know a little bit about the intake procedures that CPS uses.  CPS gets a MASSIVE (and I may even go into HOW massive at a later date) amount of calls into their system of possible child “abuse and neglect” which covers a broad range of categories.  They then have to classify the report and determine whether to investigate or not.  The vast majority of calls into their intake system are not such types of things that need to be investigated.  The criteria are somewhat specific, but it is mostly a calculation on the veracity of the report, as well as potential risk to the child. Some of the areas that MAY cause CPS to investigate you are a bit of a surprise to some parents, so I feel its important to mention them here.  One of the more common calls to the intake centers is parents leaving small children […]

How to Avoid Problems with CPS (DFPS)   Recently updated !


CPS Parent Resource Guide Cover
Teenage Parents and Former Foster Youth Parents   Teenage parents, those under the age of 18, can become involved with CPS as a child, as a parent, or both. For children under the age of 18, CPS becomes involved if the child is being abused or neglected, and as a parent CPS becomes involved if the parent are neglecting or abusing their child.   Just like any parent, teenage parents are responsible for keeping their child safe. Everything in the guide applies to teenagers as parents, and teenage parents can have their children removed. Because you are a teenager, your lawyer can ask for special kinds of help. For example, you might be able to get help finishing school, home services so that you can care for your baby while working your Service Plan, or one-on-one help from people who are trained to work with teenagers. Other help might include things like getting your driver’s license, opening a bank account, getting transportation to visit with your child, or finding housing.   In the end, even though you are a parent, you are also still a legally a child, which means you may need more or different kinds of services than older parents.   Finally, if you are a teenager who is involved with CPS, as a parent AND as a child, you can ask CPS for birth control, if that is something you want or need. This is your right; you do not need the consent of your parents, your caseworker, your foster parents, or anyone else. If your CPS worker does not assist you in acquiring birth control, then you can talk to your doctor.   If your parent is hurting you or your child, you need to get help. You should immediately call the police. You can also […]

CPS Parent Resource Guide Part 13: Special Topics



family team meetings
Child Protective Services Program The Child Protective Services Program is one of the programs of the government which aims to look after children who are victims of abuse and neglect. The personnel of this program handles the investigation of reports pertaining to any alleged abuse or negligence to a child. They are the ones responsible for knowing the validity of these allegations. And if needed, this branch of your social services department can intervene in some family matters of the child. They may get rid of the abuser or take the child away from home. These procedures, however, must follow the laws of the state where the child resides.  Temporary Custody of Child This social program, although aiming for the safety and security of the child, might still get stressful for family members and, sometimes, for the child. As a last resort, the CPS personnel may take temporary custody of your child. During this period, problems may arise among family members. It will be difficult for the child, the parents, or the other siblings. This could lead to a bigger family crisis. Experts say it is best to involve the family in Family Team Meetings or in Family Group Conferences. Family Team Meetings These meetings are usually held at the time before the CPS takes your child for temporary custody. Take note that this happens before the filing of the petition of the CPS in court to take custody. All throughout this meeting, the members of your family, who serves as your social support, meet the CPS caseworker. This caseworker is responsible for the custody of your child. The reason for this meeting is to hear out both sides and share helpful insights. It can also address the concerns of the child at a much earlier stage. Family Group Conferences […]

Family Team Meetings and Group Conferences during a CPS Case   Recently updated !


foster care
It is unfortunate that many children are born in less than ideal situations. Some have been results of abuse or teenage pregnancy. In any case, the parents may not be ready or capable to take care of the child. The State of Texas is always concerned with the welfare of all children regardless of circumstance. Thus, they have facilities and implemented guidelines for foster care. Child Protective Services (CPS) Rights in Foster Care Every child that is placed in foster care in Texas has defined rights. They have been placed into different categories: Safety and Care Every child has the right to: An explanation on why he/she is in foster care A briefing on what will happen to him/her while they are in the foster care facility Be informed on what will happen to the rest of his family (brothers and sisters) Be told what the CPS is planning for his/her future The foster care facility also needs to provide a family-like setting. The child should receive proper care and treatment and be placed in a safe, healthy and comfortable place. It is also a basic right for a child to be treated with respect and be given personal privacy when the situation calls for it. For the foster home, the employees must have no record of abuse, exploitation or harassment. They must also state the rules clearly and implement them in a fair manner. Family and Contacts If the child sent to foster care has brothers and sisters who are also under foster care, they must live together in the facility. If this is not the case, the caseworker has an obligation to offer a compelling reason for this.   If the child has existing family (parents, siblings) outside of foster care, they should maintain regular contact with them […]

Children Placed in Foster Care in Texas



cps
There are many situations that might lead CPS in Texas to take your child into their possession. CPS stands for Child Protection Services, and according to the Texas Family Code, it has the authority to handle investigations regarding neglect and abuse against children. CPS in Texas will carry out investigations when there are signs and allegations of abuse or neglect, such as when The Rights and Duties of Texas Parents  are not properly followed. If proven, the CPS can take your child away from your home. There are hotlines that are available 24/7 that are open for reports of abuse and neglect. Any report will be treated with utmost confidentiality. There are also some professionals who have the obligation to report abuse and neglect against children when they know of it. These professionals include police officers, doctors, teachers, and lawyers. If someone makes a report to CPS regarding your child, the CPS office in your area will be notified and they will begin the investigations. What to do when CPS Investigation Begins and your Child is Involved When there is an investigation that needs to be done, a caseworker from CPS in Texas will be assigned to handle the case. The caseworker will contact you along with other people who could possibly have some information about the alleged child neglect or abuse. An interview will be set up. Everything you say can be held against you, in this case. If any of your statements support the allegations about child neglect and abuse, it can be used to take your child away from you. Hence, it is not always a good idea to blindly cooperate with CPS caseworkers. If you want to protect your family, it would be best to hire a skilled family law attorney at this point. You should also look […]

Everything You Need to Know about CPS in Texas


What You Should Know About Protective Orders and Name Changes
Protective orders and name changes are some of the things that a party could want in a family law case. It is commonly needed when certain actions from a spouse or partner necessitate a request for protective orders from the court. This is pretty common in the presence of family violence. Family violence is basically a threat or an action of violence by one family member to another. Any threat or action that could cause or have caused physical harm, bodily injuries, as well as physical or sexual assault is classified as violence. Violence or threat of violence against a child who is not a biological member of the family but is living in the same household is still classified as family violence. Violence from a person whom you are dating is classified as dating violence. Just like any other type of violence, it involves an action with the intention to cause physical harm and injury, as well as physical and sexual assault. An action that causes significant fear of violence also classifies as violence. Any adult in the household can file for protective orders for any member of the family including children. For dating violence, any adult involved in the relationship can file for protective orders. In order for the court to release protective orders, the requesting party should provide proof that violence has occurred or that it is bound to occur in the future. At times, a testimony of the victim is enough for the court to issue protective orders. What Happens When The Court Issues Protective Orders If the court finds that you have been a victim of family or dating violence, the court will make sure that the perpetrator will not be able to continue his or her violent acts towards you. The protective order will […]

What You Should Know About Protective Orders and Name Changes



investigation mgn 1
Occasionally I will get a call from someone who either is in the early stages of a CPS investigation, or is concerned that a report may have been made, about how to avoid CPS involvement. Sometimes, this is a fairly complicated question, but there are definitely some things that can increase your likelihood of being involved with CPS. The first important thing to note is that CPS gets involved based on referrals made by third parties, and many of these referrals are effectively mandatory even if the person referring you doesn’t really think there is anything going on. Injuries to children can often trigger a referral to CPS even if the cause of the injury was something completely benign if the injury itself has signs of being indicative of abuse. Likewise, statements made by children indicating abuse will almost certainly trigger a referral by any school or daycare personnel who hears it, even if they don’t believe it is the case. For the most part, any agency involved with taking care of children likely will take (and should take) a broad view on what things should be reported and leave it up to CPS to figure things out after that. For reference, here are the sources of referrals from the DFPS 2013 fiscal year data book:

Avoiding CPS And What To Do When You Can’t


CPS lawyer
Child Protective Services (CPS) is under Texas’ Department of Family and Protective Services.  This department’s role is to look after the welfare of children in the state of Texas and also provide them with the protection children need.  When dealing with a case with the CPS department, having a lawyer to help with the proceedings would be of great help as your lawyer will be the one to guide you and help you in dealing with whatever case you may have with the CPS. What Your CPS Lawyer Does for You One of the first things your CPS lawyer should be doing is meeting with you.  Meeting with your lawyer and providing all the pertinent information of your case will be of great help to your lawyer as this will allow them to be able to choose a course of action to help you out with your case.  Your lawyer will be doing things such as talking to the social worker who oversaw your case, talking to those who know about the things involved in your case, as well as looking at any of the court documents regarding your case.  Of course, your CPS lawyer will also hear what you need to tell them regarding your case so that they can also understand your side.  Your lawyer is there to represent you and represent you in the best way possible in court.  Whatever it is that you want the court to know about you or what you want them to see, your CPS lawyer will do their best to show just that. Your lawyer is there to assist you with the proceedings of your case as well as how you intend to go about it.  Your lawyer is knowledgeable on how case proceedings usually go and will help you figure […]

The Importance of your Lawyer in a CPS Case