It is an unfortunate fact that some children in Texas suffer from neglect and abuse, which is why CPS in Texas is important. CPS stands for Child Protective Services and it mainly takes on cases where children go through abuse and neglect in the hands of adults and their caregivers. The primary purpose of CPS in Texas is to provide safety for the children of Texas, as well as education for families in order for them to provide a loving home for the children.
If you have ever been part of an investigation by the CPS in Texas, you’ve come to the right place. Especially if the investigation is currently active, you will need all the information you can find to know more about CPS in Texas and how they handle their investigations.
Goals of a CPS Investigation in Texas
Usually, when someone reports a case of abuse or neglect and CPS gets hold of it, they will send a caseworker to investigate the people involved. If you are involved, you can expect them to contact you and to set up an interview with you. What CPS wants is to keep the child who is allegedly abused as safe as possible. If they can find evidence to prove that no neglect or abuse has occurred, they would want to send the child home as soon as possible. However, they will first probe and determine if your home is a safe place for the child, and until then, chances are they will take the child away to be placed in another family. That family could be your relative or your spouse.
How the Investigation Goes
During the investigation, CPS will try to create a safe environment for the child. They will let the child stay in your home if possible. In fact, the last thing they would want to do is uproot the child from the environment that is familiar. However, if abuse, neglect or potential danger is evident, they will not hesitate from removing the child from your home. If the situation demands it, CPS will also seek legal methods to keep the child safe. For the worst case scenario, CPS can file a petition for your parental rights to be terminated.
When a CPS investigation starts, it does not mean that your child will have to live apart from you automatically. Even if CPS officers find it appropriate to remove the child from your home, it does not signify a permanent setup. CPS personnel will first assess your home for potential harm and they will decide whether or not it will be appropriate to leave your child in your home. Even if CPS will take your child, they will provide classes and training programs to ensure a safe place for your child at home.
What is Abuse and Neglect According to CPS?
When an investigation by CPS is ongoing, it will be tough and confusing because your definition of abuse and neglect could be different from that of the CPS investigator. You could be thinking that you have been giving your child proper care but it could be not enough per Child Protective Services standards. Basically, CPS defines abuse as act or omission that causes physical or mental harm. Mental injury will be considered if there is an impairment in the child’s development and growth that the CPS investigators can observe. If you have failed to protect your child in cases where the injury was preventable and your child sustained physical injuries, this will also be considered as another type of abuse. Injuries from an accident or reasonable disciplinary measures will not be counted as something that CPS will remove your child over.
In case of CPS investigation in Texas, you can always contact a family law attorney who can help you out with your case so that you can be guided accordingly.