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 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 for someone who has had experience dealing with CPS investigations.
When CPS in Texas obtains evidence of neglect or child abuse, they would take your child and would initially try to place him or her in the care of a family member. It could be your relative or your spouse’s. CPS will also make an affidavit containing the information about the case and will present it to the judge in order to be the conservator of your child. The judge will first review the affidavit, including the allegation before making a decision. He can decide either to issue an order granting CPS conservatorship of your child or not. If he decides that CPS in Texas will now be the conservator of your child, the child will be taken from your home for good to be placed with other family members or with a foster family.
Within 14 days, there will be a hearing wherein CPS and yourself will have to present the court with evidence proving that abuse or neglect indeed did or did not occur. If you cannot prove that abuse and neglect did not occur, your child can remain in CPS’ care for an extended period. There will also be ‘permanency hearings’ that will be held regarding the case.
What To Expect in a Hearing with CPS in Texas
There is a possibility that the Department of Family and Protective Services or DFPS will be the ones who will be granted conservatorship of your child. If that’s the case, you can expect several permanency hearings. During these hearings, the judge will receive updates regarding the case. The updates can also include information about what you have done so far to bring your child back to you as well as what the State has done to protect the child from neglect or abuse while he or she is in their care.
For these permanency hearings, the court will require your child to be present. However, the state of Texas does not really strictly impose this law. The judge will always consider the best interests of your child. If your child is over the age of four, there is a possibility that the judge will listen to the opinion of your child regarding where he or she wants to be placed. The judge will ask the child questions that are suitable for his or her age. Since the law about the child’s presence in the hearings is not strongly implemented, the judge can also determine by himself whether the judge should attend the hearings or not.
When Your Child Attends a Permanency Hearing
The big difference between having and not having your child’s presence in the court during the hearing is the weight of his or her opinion. When your child makes it to the hearing, his or her opinion can be shown easily to the judge. As long as the child’s age is not an issue, such an opinion can be crucial for the case. When your child attends the permanency hearings, he or she can also learn of the information firsthand about the case.
For sure, if the CPS in Texas takes hold of your child, the battle you have to fight in court to protect your family will be a huge struggle. This is also a sensitive case, therefore, don’t trust yourself to do it alone. Find a reliable family attorney who can help you protect your family. Here’s how you can Hire an Experienced Family Attorney in Texas.