CPS


Drug Addiction
Substance abuse is one of the usual cracks in the pavement that can be hard to cover up, especially once it affects people beyond those of the abusers. For example, a rebelling teenager who abuses drugs and alcohol could have his or her parents worried sick over his or her lack of control with addiction and therefore affect them in numerous ways that may be unnoticeable. However, it is so much worse the other way around, especially if it involves underaged children. Since most parents who fall prey over substance abuse tend to do so by neglect of responsibilities, the chances of also neglecting their children during this time will be high. This neglect, in turn, could be considered as child abuse and would thereby allow the authorities to take actions against you.  It is written in most state laws that should any expecting or experienced parent be caught doing substance abuse must be reported to the authorities immediately. Usually, child protective services are alarmed for this cases to ensure that the children of substance abusers are in much safer hands than they were before. Assessments automatically follow after the authorities have been notified.  There are only two overarching harms parents could do to their children while under substance abuse. One is exposing the unborn child to the addiction, which means that the mother has taken illegal drugs or uncontrollable amounts of alcohol during the pregnancy. The second is unintentionally or intentionally exposing them to any illegal drug activity inside the home and surrounding environment while they are growing up. Written below is a list of the frequent reasons and possible circumstances that parents could be charged by the child protective services for: Creating illegal substances in the midst or presence of a child Allowing a child to be in […]

CPS Investigations and Drug Use


When Grandparents Are Involved In a CPS Case
  A CPS case can be one of the toughest family law case an attorney has to handle. It can be really heartbreaking, at the same time frustrating. From the point of view of the child, it is alleged that he or she is a victim of neglect or abuse at the hands of people whom he or she needs to trust the most. After all, most CPS cases involve people who are legally tasked to care for the best interests of the alleged victims. On the other hand, from the parents’ point of view, the story can be different. Whether or not true abuse or neglect has been committed, their life will be turned upside down with the CPS case. Their parental rights will also be questioned, and they will be at risk of being permanently separated from their child. It does not matter if neglect or abuse has been committed or not, CPS will conduct a full investigation once they are involved. There can be other sides to the case too. Other family members can also feel the extent of the impact of the CPS case. Some of the most commonly affected other members of the family are the grandparents.   How Grandparents Are Affected By A CPS Case   When the parents are informed by the court that they cannot raise their child, the other family members have to step up. Usually, it is the grandparents who are given the responsibility to protect the child. Unfortunately, this usually happens without any form of support for the grandparents, which can put them in a difficult position. It is quite common even from decades ago for grandparents to the primary caretakers of their grandchildren. When parents have it tough, grandparents usually step up to fill that void. Divorce, change […]

Grandparent Involvement in a CPS Case



CPS Parent Resource Guide Cover
  How to Move Forward If Your Child Is Not Coming Home   First and foremost, remember that you are not alone in this matter. Losing a child is the hardest thing a parent could go through, whether you voluntarily agree to give up your parental rights, or you go to court and a judge sees fit to take away your parental rights.   It is vital to your mental health to find a support system of people that can help care for you and support you. You might feel as if you have failed as a parent and this can be hard to admit to someone else. Feel free to also reach out to your community religious leader if you are religious.   Additionally, take time to take care for yourself. Your physical health and mental health are related. You are mentally and emotionally stronger when you exercise, eat right, drink water, hang out with positive people, and avoid harmful relationships. If you can afford it, consider taking up counseling, and you can ask your CPS worker and/or lawyer for help in finding in a therapist and to see if CPS will pay for this support.   Remember that losing parental rights does not end your relationship with the child, and if you have other children in the home do not neglect those relationships. It is possible that CPS will decide that you can safely care for your child at a future date. Finally, if your child is not returned to you at the end of a case, you may be able to appeal the jury’s decision. Your lawyer is legally bound to assist you and represent you in the appeal. You need to discuss an appeal with your lawyer as soon as possible because appeals have strict time […]

CPS Parent Resource Guide Part 14: Moving Forward


CPS Parent Resource Guide Cover 1
Parents Who Are Undocumented Immigrants   The most important thing to remember is the CPS (child protective services) does not deport parents or their children. CPS is not an immigration agency of the United States. Children and their families are given the benefits, protection, and care of CPS whether or not they are here legally.   However, if a child who is not a U.S. citizen is brought into CPS custody, and is here illegally (undocumented), then the home country will be notified. This is a legal requirement and does not apply only when the child is a citizen of another country AND a U.S. citizen.   Be sure to always give accurate statements, as well as to cooperate with CPS as much as possible, in order to obtain all the benefits and protections that you are rightfully entitled to as an undocumented immigrant with CPS. Finally, remember that the CPS is not an immigration agency and cannot deport you or your child. Parents With Native American/Indian Heritage   The Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) is a federal law that protects the best interests of Indian children. If you know or think your child has some Native American/Indian heritage, tell your caseworker or the judge at your first hearing because Indian Child and Custody Proceedings have specific definitions under federal law. The ICWA exists to preserve Native American culture and families.   Once a case has been made, the tribe can choose to get involved in the state court case or ask for the case to be transferred to a tribal court. You always have the right to be notified of any proceeding that involved your child in tribal court. Additionally, you have the right to object to a transfer to tribal court, however, the tribe’s decision to transfer the […]

CPS Parent Resource Guide Part 13: Special Topics Part 3



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


CPS Parent Resource Guide Cover
Part 1 and 2 of this section will handle those particular CPS issues, which include special topics. Special topics are but are not limited to: parents who have special physical or intellectual needs or who live with a mental illness; Fathers, especially fathers who don’t see their children, teenage parents, or parents who are in prison may also have questions specific to their situation. This section includes information to address these more individual issues. A. Parents with Disabilities or Special Needs It is important to be aware of whether you are a parent with a disability or special need because The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to CPS cases. Temporary conditions, such as a broken leg, usually are not covered. Additionally, any condition relating from the abuse of drugs or alcohol is not covered. The ADA defines a disability as a condition that “substantially limits a major life activity.” The ADA does not give a list of all the possible disabilities or special needs. Instead, the law covers “physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.” If you know (or think) you have a disability or special need, then you need to tell your lawyer so she can tell CPS and the court. Examples of disabilities that may be protected by the ADA are: psychiatric or mental impairments such as depression or post-traumatic stress disorder, Back or spinal injury, migraine headaches, epilepsy, diabetes, vision and hearing impairments. What Does it Mean for Your Case? It is true that CPS is more likely to get involved with parents with disabilities or special needs since CPS workers must take reasonable steps to make sure that parents understand what is going on in their case. This is especially true for parents with special needs who may require “accommodations.” […]

CPS Parent Resource Guide Part 13: Disability and Inability to Care



Prevent Child Abuse
Around the country child protective service agencies are having a hard time.  This includes CPS in Texas.  Case workers in Texas are handling between 21 and 36 children by themselves.  With a number this high, it is beyond the safe level.  Studies have shown the most cases a case worker can handle by themselves is 20.  Such a lack of services is what has led to a recent issue with CPS in Texas. In an ongoing court case, Texas Child Protective Services are insisting that the shortcomings in the system are not as bad as they have been portrayed.  Advocacy groups say that they are lying, though.  Advocacy groups are attempting to sue the state for a lack of coverage for our most vulnerable population. The advocacy groups are also arguing that the state is showing two different faces.  In court, the state is insisting that there are not as limited as the public perceives them to be.  Outside of court (the advocacy group claims), and to the public, Texas CPS is accused of stating that they are understaffed and needing finances. A recent court filing from special masters had suggested major changes to the foster care system for the safety of our children.  CPS/the foster care system rejected these filings.  Their reasoning: it would be too expensive and extensive to implement.  This reasoning has been used to not follow any of the 56 different suggestions that the special masters made. One of the major contradictions is the fact that in court, DFPS (Department of Family and Protective Services) stated in court that they sometimes have to use office placement as they do not have enough foster parents for their children.  They further elaborated in court that these placements are not harmful to children.  Outside of court, though, the Department […]

Foster Care Lawsuit and the Two Faces of CPS


Child Abuse
A closet with a deadbolt, regular wood paddling, nowhere to urinate, and not much room, fed only rice and beans.  These were the conditions that Child Protective Services and Fort Bend County Sheriff’s deputies found seven children in a Richmond, Texas home.  Needless to say, all seven of the special needs children had not been to school, otherwise, the child abuse in Texas would have been caught sooner. In early December, on the 3rd, Paula Sinclair (54) and Allen Richardson (78) were arrested by the Fort Bend County Sheriff.  This came after Child Protective services took a complaint about the adopted children from the home of Sinclair and Richardson.  The charges: aggravated kidnapping and bodily injury to a child.  Both charges are felonies, first and third degree.  The couple is now in the Fort Bend County jail without bond. Allegations of child abuse in Texas had been made and CPS as such launched an inquiry.  This inquiry was to determine if abuse did exist among the seven adopted children in the Sinclair/Richardson home. The children, between the ages of 13 and 16, had been struck with a wooden paddle multiple times, causing injuries that needed treatment.  Each kid was a special-needs child that was not receiving any kind of care they needed. Sinclair was known as “mom” while Richardson was referred to as “Coach”.  Sinclair and Richardson were not married to each other.  In fact, Sinclair has a husband who lived at another location. Since being found, the children have been hospitalized in order to start receiving the care that they need.  They are starting to recover from the child abuse in Texas. For each child, Sinclair was receiving $540 per month, per child.  This has been ongoing from 2003 and 2004 when the children were adopted. The same house […]

Child Abuse in Texas