CPS

29 posts

Everything You Need To Know About CPS in Texas

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 […]

2017 Court Appointed Family Advocates Advanced CLE

October 27, 2017 – all day UT Thompson Center Includes morning refreshments, lunch, afternoon snack, and parking! 6.25 credit hours; 2.5 ethics Cost: $110 for Austin Bar Association CAFA Section Members $135 for non-members of the Austin Bar Association CAFA Section   Presentations Include: Legislative Update Case Law Update Drafting and Setting Motions Using the De-Identified Case Record in Court Forming relationships with professionals Trauma Informed Represntation Lunch Options – Boxed Salads and Sandwiches; all include a cookie and beverage. Cobb Salad – Strips of turkey breast, diced tomatoes, chopped hard boiled egg, diced celery, scallions, and bacon crumbles served over a bed of Romaine lettuce with blue cheese dressing. Chicken Southwest Salad – Grilled chicken with black bean salsa, cheddar jack cheese, and baked corn tortilla chips served with an avocado chipotle dressing. Ham and Swiss on a Croissant – with lettuce and tomato. Served with fruit salad and chips. Hummus, Avocado and Roasted Veggie Wrap – creamy hummus, ripe avocado, and roasted eggplant, zucchini, red pepper, and red onions marinated in a balsamic vinaigrette rolled in a soft flour tortilla. Honey BBQ Chicken Sandwich – Balsamic grilled chicken with Honey-BBQ Ranch Dressing, Roasted Onions, Lettuce and tomato on a multi-grain bun.   Register […]

CPS Parent Resource Guide

CPS Parent Resource Guide Part 15: Managing Your Resources & Case Planning:

Managing Your Resources & Case Planning   The most important thing to remember is that with the amount of information to keep track of in a CPS case, you must write everything down! You know by now how complicated a CPS case is, it is imperative that everything is written down.   The goal is to prove to your CPS worker that you are a responsible, organized adult who is able to manage your case and the many responsibilities that come with it. By keeping track of, and showing up, to your appointments, as well as visiting your children you can help show the court and CPS how hard you are working to protect your child.   A helpful tip is to keep a log system of contacts, phone calls, and a visitation checklist. Every time you call your caseworker or someone else related to your case, even if you end up leaving a message or someone calls you, write down the person’s phone number, the date, the name of the person calling, and what was discussed. If you tried calling but the person was not there, write down what you said in the voicemail message. It is helpful to […]

CPS Parent Resource Guide

CPS Parent Resource Guide Part 14: Moving Forward

  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 […]

CPS Parent Resource Guide

CPS Parent Resource Guide Part 13: Special Topics Part 3

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 […]

CPS Parent Resource Guide

CPS Parent Resource Guide Part 13: Special Topics

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 […]

CPS Parent Resource Guide

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

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 […]

Prevent-Child-Abuse

Foster Care Lawsuit and the Two Faces of CPS

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 […]

Child Abuse

Child Abuse in Texas

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 […]

Texas Primary Custody

The Importance of Youth Voice in Court Proceedings

The Texas Family Code is clear that children and youth must attend permanency review hearings, and places additional duties on attorneys ad litem, judges, and the child welfare agency to meet with children in advance of court hearings.  Despite many improvements over the past several years, Texas courts still do not consistently engage youth in meaningful participation in the court process. Ensuring that youth voice is heard and considered continues to be a challenge.  This lack of youth involvement results in foster youth feeling disconnected from the process, and judges not reaping the benefit of their input. Q:  What does the law require? A:  Chapter 263 of the Texas Family Code mandates that all children who are in the conservatorship of DFPS attend all permanency hearings.  Specifically, Section 263.302 states that the child shall attend each permanency hearing, unless the court specifically excuses the child’s attendance, and that the court shall consult with the child in a developmentally appropriate manner regarding the child’s permanency plan, if the child is four years of age or older and the court determines it is in the best interest of the child. Q:  Are there any exceptions to 263.302? A:  Yes, the judge can […]