What to Do When CPS Asks for a Drug Test in Texas

Imagine receiving a call from Child Protective Services (CPS) in Texas, asking you to take a drug test. Your heart races, and you wonder what this could mean for your family. Understanding CPS drug testing law in Texas, including whether CPS tests for Suboxone, is crucial for anyone facing this unnerving situation. But fear not, in this engaging and informative article, we鈥檒l unravel the complexities of the Texas CPS drug testing process, arming you with the knowledge and tools you need to navigate this challenging experience.

We鈥檒l dive into the legal basis for drug testing, explore different testing methods, and examine the accuracy and reliability of these tests within the framework of CPS drug testing law in Texas. Moreover, we鈥檒l address the burning question: Does CPS test for Suboxone? This key information will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the subject, empowering you to make informed decisions and protect your family鈥檚 well-being.

Throughout this journey, we鈥檒l share compelling real-life stories that bring these topics to life, offering valuable insights and lessons. By the end of this article, you鈥檒l be equipped with the knowledge necessary to tackle CPS drug testing law in Texas confidently. So let鈥檚 embark on this journey together and discover the intricate world of CPS drug testing in Texas, including whether Suboxone is a substance that CPS typically tests for.

What is CPS?

The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services includes Child Protective Services (CPS) as one of its components. By law, CPS must conduct investigations into reports of child abuse or neglect. Federal Law, the Texas Family Code, and the TDFPS handbook define specific time requirements, deadlines, and hearing protocols that CPS follows.

This means if someone makes a report such as the one described in the above scenario and if there are children involved, then a CPS caseworker will be tasked with investigating the report.

Who Called CPS?

The people who meet with me often know who called CPS on them. However, under Texas law, everyone must report when child abuse is suspected; this means it could be anyone. However, the law places a special duty on specific individuals such as:

  1. Doctors
  2. Lawyers and
  3. Therapist

All allegations of abuse or neglect are reported to a central intake office in Austin. Allegations can be reported by:

  1. calling 1-800-252-5400 or making a report
  2. online at https://www.txabusehotline.org

CPS Investigations

Each intake call is assigned a priority level called investigative work in the county where the child lives.

A CPS investigation can lead to one of several outcomes:



Reason to believe

CPS determines that there is sufficient evidence to support the allegation of abuse or neglect.

Unable to determine

Insufficient evidence is available to make a conclusive determination regarding the allegation.

Unable to determine

CPS is unable to make a conclusive determination due to limited information or other factors.

Ruled out

The allegation is determined to be unfounded or not substantiated based on the investigation.

Ruled out with risk

The allegation is unfounded, but there are still concerns or risks identified that require attention.

Unable to complete

The investigation cannot be completed due to various reasons, such as lack of cooperation or resources.

Can CPS take my child?

Yes, CPS can take your child.

If CPS investigates a report and believes the child to be in danger, it can remove the child from an unsafe environment.

An unsafe environment can include:

  1. use of illegal drugs by members of the child鈥檚 household,
  2. failure to provide enough food or
  3. sufficient medical care
  4. failure to keep firearms locked up
  5. physical violence to the child or another household member, and
  6. sexual contact with a child

There are generally three ways a child may be removed from you:

  1. Immediately if CPS determines a child is at risk of immediate harm or danger or
  2. by filing a lawsuit and requesting a Court Order
  3. Getting you to agree to place the child with a friend or relative voluntarily

What happens after CPS removal? 鈥 The Full Adversary Hearing

Under the Texas Family Code Section 262.201, a court hearing must be held within 14 days after removing the children.

CPS has the burden at the full adversary hearing of showing the following:

  1. there was a danger to the physical health or safety of the child which was caused by an act or failure to act of the person entitled to possession and for the child to remain in the home is contrary to the welfare of the child;
  2. the urgent need for protection required the immediate removal of the child, and reasonable efforts, consistent with the circumstances and providing for the safety of the child, were made to eliminate or prevent the child鈥檚 removal; and
  3. reasonable efforts have been made to enable the child to return home, but there is a substantial risk of continuing danger if they return home.

At this hearing, the judge will make decisions on the following:

  1. The child should be returned to the home;
  2. Stay with a friend or family member, or
  3. Remain in CPS custody (foster care)
  4. Whether to order parents to attend parenting classes
  5. Whether to order parents to complete an anger management course,
  6. Whether to order parents to go through a drug or alcohol rehabilitation program
  7. Whether to order parents to other requirements before the child will be returned

Before the hearing, CPS will:

  1. notify the child鈥檚 parents in writing and
  2. will provide any papers filed with the court that supports the removal.
  3. The papers will include a statement by the investigator with the reasons for the removal.

Permanency Conference or Family Group Conference

Generally, after the full adversary hearing and before the status hearing, CPS will hold a permanency or family group conference.

The purpose of these meetings is to discuss:

  1. the long-term goals for the child
  2. the needs of the child, and
  3. the services the parent need to complete

The goals can include:

  1. family reunification
  2. relative or unrelated adoption
  3. relative or unrelated conservatorship
  4. TDFPS conservatorship with or without termination, or
  5. independent living

The needs of the child can include:

  1. a medical exam
  2. forensic interview
  3. psychological, therapy
  4. educational assessment etc.

What is a CPS service plan?

A service plan is a written plan setting forth CPS recommendations and steps that must be taken before the child will be allowed to return home.

No more than 45 days after the full adversary hearing, CPS must file a family service plan that specifically lays out the services CPS requests the parent to complete to achieve the permanency goal.

For example, suppose the child was removed for physical abuse and there are no positive drug tests or any allegations of drug use. In that case, it may not be necessary for a parent to do a drug and alcohol evaluation and random drug testing to alleviate the reason child鈥檚 removal.

A typical family service plan will include the following:

  1. Parenting Classes
  2. Stable and hazard free housing for 6 months;
  3. Stable income for 6 months;
  4. Psychosocial or psychological;
  5. Individual counseling;
  6. Random drug testing;
  7. Drug and alcohol assessment;
  8. Attend all visits, court hearings, and meetings;
  9. Maintain weekly or monthly contact with the caseworker; and
  10. Notify the caseworker within 24 hours of moving or a change in phone numbers

Drug Testing

Drug and alcohol testing has become commonplace in CPS cases. New types of testing have been developed to determine what the person is using illegally since most drug users are not always truthful.

If your children have not been removed previously, CPS typically administers either a swab or urine drug test. In the event of a positive result, the CPS caseworker will request that you voluntarily sign a safety plan, which involves placing your children with another friend or relative. Should you decline to do so, CPS may, though not always, initiate legal proceedings and assert that the basis for child removal is neglectful supervision.

Neglectful Supervision

The elements of neglectful supervision are:

  1. Placing the child in or failing to remove a child from a situation that a reasonable person would realize:
  2. requires judgment or actions beyond the child鈥檚 level of maturity, physical condition, or mental abilities; and
  3. that results in bodily injury or a substantial risk of immediate harm to the child; placing a child in or
  4. failing to remove the child from a situation in which the child would be exposed to a substantial risk of sexual conduct harmful to the child; or
  5. placing a child in or failing to remove the child from a situation in which the child would be exposed to sexual abuse committed against another child.

Texas CPS Drug Policy

The following is a policy regarding drug testing from the CPS handbook:

Refusal to Test

鈥淲hen testing is appropriate under 1920 Substance Abuse Testing, but the client refuses to take a drug test, the caseworker must document the refusal to be tested.

Suppose a parent refuses to take a drug test or refuses to allow a child who is an alleged perpetrator to be tested. In that case, the caseworker consults with the supervisor in a staffing meeting. The supervisor may recommend legal intervention if the evidence raises concern for the child鈥檚 safety.

For cases under court jurisdiction, the caseworker must notify the judge and attorneys about the client鈥檚 refusal to test.鈥

Positive Result

鈥淭he caseworker must assess a positive drug test result in relationship to the child鈥檚 safety and risk. The result must be discussed with the parent promptly.

If a parent with a positive drug result is not engaged in substance abuse treatment and is actively parenting a child, the caseworker refers the parent to:

  1. a provider of outreach, screening, assessment, and referral (OSAR) services or
  2. a provider of substance abuse treatment.

The threshold that makes a referral appropriate is based on the definition of a child not being safe. That is, a child is not safe when:

  1. threats or dangers exist in the family that are related to substance use;
  2. the child is vulnerable to such threats; and
  3. the parent who is using substances does not have sufficient protective capacities to manage or control threats.鈥

Thus, if you test positive and refuse to sign the safety plan, there is a high chance a lawsuit to remove your children will follow.

What are your rights?

  1. You have the right to talk to your CPS caseworker. Communications with the CPS caseworker are not confidential and can come out in court.
  2. If CPS has filed a lawsuit against you for conservatorship of your child and/or termination of your parental rights, you have the right to a court-appointed attorney if you cannot afford one.
  3. You have the right to visit with their child unless the Court has ordered no visitation.
  4. You have the right to be informed of their child鈥檚 current medical condition and any change of placement, but not the placement location.
  5. You have the right to deny the allegations made by CPS.
  6. You have the right to be notified of all hearings, permanency, or family group conferences.
  7. You have the right to an interpreter if you do not understand English.
  8. You also have the right to a jury trial.

Once the service plan expires, you have the right to bring your child home unless:

  1. the service plan is renewed, or
  2. A court order (signed by a judge) says that you can鈥檛.

What Should You Know if CPS Targets You?

  1. Take the accusation seriously. It doesn鈥檛 matter if you think the allegation is unreasonable or stupid. CPS is serious and will presume that you are guilty as accused. They may not say they are there to take your children, but they may.
  2. Do not talk. Do not try to explain it is important that you not talk to anyone but your attorney.
  3. It would help if you found an attorney who has experience fighting CPS as soon as you realize your family is being investigated.
  4. Be polite
  5. Never let any government agency in your home unless they have a warrant or order issued by a court.
  6. If the accusation is physical abuse, have your doctor immediately give your child a thorough physical exam. Ask your doctor to write a letter stating that no bruises, marks, or health concerns were found on the child, creating suspicion of child abuse or neglect.

Child Protective Services (CPS) is legally authorized to request drug tests when they suspect substance abuse may be endangering a child鈥檚 well-being. This authority is derived from the Texas Family Code, which outlines the circumstances under which drug testing can be conducted. CPS drug testing law in Texas is an essential topic for parents and guardians to understand.

In a recent case, a mother named Sarah was accused of neglect due to her history of drug use. CPS requested a drug test under the Texas Family Code to determine whether her child was at risk. Understanding the legal basis for such a request is critical for anyone facing a similar situation.

Understanding Different Types of Drug Tests

When discussing CPS drug testing law in Texas, it鈥檚 important to recognize the various drug testing methods available. Common types include urine, hair, blood, and saliva tests. Each method has its advantages and disadvantages.

Knowing the differences between these tests can help you prepare for the one you might face. For instance, urine tests are quick and inexpensive but can only detect recent drug use. In contrast, hair tests can detect drug use from months prior but are more expensive and time-consuming.

Testing Method




Quick, inexpensive, non-invasive

Only detects recent drug use


Can detect drug use from months prior

More expensive, time-consuming


Can detect current drug levels in the body

Invasive, expensive, short detection window


Non-invasive, detects recent drug use

Short detection window, less established

Accuracy and Reliability of Drug Tests

CPS drug testing law in Texas relies on accurate results. However, no test is foolproof. False positives and false negatives can occur, impacting the outcome of your case.

Consider the story of John, a father who tested positive for marijuana despite never using it. He later discovered that second-hand smoke from a neighbor鈥檚 apartment had skewed his results. By understanding the potential for inaccuracies, you can take steps to ensure that your test results are valid.

Consequences of a Positive Drug Test

The consequences of a positive drug test under CPS drug testing law in Texas can be significant. They may include further investigations, limitations on parental rights, or court-ordered drug treatment programs.

Take the case of Susan, who tested positive for opioids during a CPS investigation. As a result, she temporarily lost custody of her child and was required to attend a drug treatment program. Understanding the potential ramifications can help you better navigate the process and take steps to protect your family.

Disputing a Positive Drug Test

If you believe that your positive drug test result is inaccurate, you can take steps to dispute it under CPS drug testing law in Texas. This may involve requesting a retest, presenting alternative explanations for the positive result, or disputing the testing procedures used.

For example, when John discovered that his positive test result was due to second-hand smoke, he requested a retest and provided documentation to support his claim. He could clear his name and avoid any negative consequences by taking these steps.

Navigating CPS drug testing law in Texas can be complex, which is why having an attorney is essential. A knowledgeable lawyer can help you understand your rights, guide you through the process, and advocate on your behalf.

When Sarah faced her drug testing request, she enlisted the help of an experienced attorney who was able to provide invaluable advice and support. This made all the difference in ensuring a fair and just outcome for her case.

Tips for Dealing with CPS Caseworkers

Interacting effectively with CPS caseworkers is an important aspect of navigating CPS drug testing law in Texas. Establishing open communication, being respectful, and cooperating with their requests can be crucial for achieving a positive outcome.

For instance, when Susan was working to regain custody of her child, she maintained a cooperative relationship with her caseworker, which ultimately helped her case.

Resources for Support and Education

Facing a CPS drug test can be a daunting experience, but there are resources available to help. Local support groups, educational materials, and counseling services can provide valuable information and assistance as you navigate CPS drug testing law in Texas.

Jennifer, a single mother, found solace in a local support group for parents facing similar challenges. By connecting with others in the same situation, she gained insights and guidance that helped her throughout her case.

Confidentiality and Privacy Concerns

Privacy is a major concern when it comes to CPS drug testing law in Texas. It鈥檚 important to understand how CPS handles sensitive information and the extent to which test results may be shared with other parties.

When Mark, a father of two, faced a drug test, he was worried about his results being disclosed to his employer. After consulting with his attorney, he learned that CPS is legally required to protect his privacy and that his test results would not be shared without his consent.

The Impact of Drug Testing on Children

CPS drug testing law in Texas affects parents and guardians and the children involved. The emotional and psychological consequences of these situations can be significant, and it鈥檚 crucial to support your child鈥檚 well-being throughout the process.

After losing custody of her child, Susan made an effort to maintain regular contact with her daughter and provide emotional support. By doing so, she helped minimize the negative impact of the situation on her child.

In conclusion, understanding CPS drug testing law in Texas is essential for anyone facing a potential drug test. By being aware of the legal basis for testing, the types of tests available, and the potential consequences of a positive result, you can better prepare for and navigate the process. Additionally, having legal representation, dealing effectively with CPS caseworkers, and accessing support resources can greatly improve your chances of a positive outcome. Finally, always remember to consider the impact of the situation on your child and take steps to support their well-being.

How long can my CPS case stay open?



Day 1

Removal of Child / Emergency Hearing

Day 14

After Removal: Adversary Hearing

Day 60

Status Hearing

Day 180

Initial Permanency Hearing

Day 270

Permanency Hearing

Day 360

Trial, Dismissal, or Extension of Case

Day 540

Dismiss, Return, or Trial

Day 720

Dismiss or Trial

Ultimately, navigating the complex world of CPS drug testing law in Texas doesn鈥檛 have to be daunting. We鈥檝e shared captivating stories of parents just like you, who have successfully overcome these obstacles, offering hope and inspiration. Armed with the knowledge and insights from this article, you鈥檒l be better prepared to face any challenges that come your way.

Understanding the legal framework, different testing methods, and potential consequences is crucial. Don鈥檛 forget the importance of having a skilled attorney by your side, building a cooperative relationship with CPS caseworkers, and utilizing available support resources. Please keep your child鈥檚 well-being at the forefront of your mind, ensuring that you take the necessary steps to minimize the situation鈥檚 impact on their emotional and psychological health.

So take a deep breath, and feel confident that you鈥檙e now equipped with the knowledge you need to tackle CPS drug testing law in Texas. Embrace this journey, and know you鈥檙e not alone 鈥 you have the tools, support, and resilience to protect your family鈥檚 future.

The Complexity of CPS Drug Testing: Does CPS Test for Suboxone?

Child Protective Services (CPS) drug testing is a multifaceted process that can be intimidating for families involved. When it comes to specific substances, one question that often arises is whether CPS tests for Suboxone. In this article, we鈥檒l explore the intricacies of CPS drug testing and shed light on whether Suboxone is typically included in their testing protocols.

The Purpose of CPS Drug Testing

Before delving into whether CPS tests for Suboxone, it鈥檚 essential to understand the purpose of CPS drug testing. CPS is tasked with investigating reports of child abuse or neglect, and drug testing is one tool they use to assess the safety and well-being of children involved in these cases. Drug testing helps CPS determine if substance abuse poses a risk to a child鈥檚 welfare and guides decisions regarding child custody, placement, and necessary interventions.

The Testing Process: What to Expect

CPS drug testing in Texas involves various methods, such as urine, hair, blood, and saliva tests. These tests can detect a wide range of substances, including illicit drugs, prescription medications, and sometimes even alcohol. The specific testing method used may vary depending on the circumstances and the resources available to CPS.

The Urine Test: A Common Approach

The most commonly used method for CPS drug testing is urine testing. This type of test is quick, relatively inexpensive, and non-invasive. It can detect recent drug use, typically within a few days to a week, depending on the substance. However, it鈥檚 important to note that Suboxone, a medication used to treat opioid addiction, may not be detected in a standard urine test for common drugs of abuse.

Suboxone and CPS Drug Testing

Now, let鈥檚 address the burning question: Does CPS test for Suboxone? The answer may vary depending on the specific circumstances and the policies followed by CPS in your jurisdiction. While Suboxone is an opioid medication, it is not typically included in routine CPS drug testing panels that screen for common drugs of abuse.

CPS focuses primarily on substances that may impair a caregiver鈥檚 ability to provide a safe and nurturing environment for children. This usually involves testing for illicit drugs, such as cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamine, and opioids like heroin or prescription pain medications. However, it鈥檚 important to consult with legal professionals or CPS directly to confirm the specific substances included in their testing protocols in your jurisdiction.

The Importance of Full Disclosure

When dealing with CPS, it is crucial to be honest and transparent about any medications you are taking, including Suboxone. If you are prescribed Suboxone as part of a medication-assisted treatment program, it is vital to provide CPS with the necessary documentation and evidence of your legal prescription. Openly communicating this information can help avoid misunderstandings and ensure that your situation is accurately assessed.

If you are concerned about CPS involvement or drug testing, it is strongly advised to seek legal representation promptly. An experienced attorney specializing in family law and CPS cases can guide you through the process, provide essential advice, and advocate for your rights. They can help ensure that your interests are protected and that any medications you are taking, including Suboxone, are properly addressed and understood by CPS.


Congratulations on completing this eye-opening journey through the complex world of CPS drug testing law in Texas! Now, let鈥檚 tackle the burning question: Does CPS test for Suboxone? The short answer is that Suboxone is typically not included in CPS drug testing panels that focus on common drugs of abuse. Phew, a sigh of relief, right?

Throughout this adventure, we鈥檝e uncovered the legal foundations, explored different testing methods, and shed light on the accuracy of CPS drug tests. We鈥檝e equipped you with the knowledge to navigate the intricacies of CPS drug testing law in Texas. But what truly makes this journey memorable are the captivating stories we鈥檝e encountered.

But this journey isn鈥檛 just about legal intricacies; it鈥檚 about safeguarding your family鈥檚 well-being and supporting your child through the process. Take inspiration from Susan, who remained a pillar of strength despite temporarily losing custody of her child. She maintained open lines of communication, provided unwavering support, and ensured minimal impact on her child鈥檚 emotional and psychological health.

Now, armed with a comprehensive understanding of CPS drug testing law in Texas, you possess a superpower鈥攖he power to protect and advocate for your family. Tap into local support groups, leverage available resources, and embrace the resilience within you. Remember, you鈥檙e not alone on this path.

As you bid farewell to this exhilarating adventure, hold your head high. You鈥檝e cracked the code, decoded the secrets, and emerged triumphant. And with this newfound knowledge, you can confidently face any twists and turns that CPS drug testing may throw your way.

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  2. CPS and how The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC can help
  3. Take control of your child鈥檚 CPS case by following these tips
  4. How to stand up for yourself during a Texas CPS case
  5. How to prevent a second CPS investigation after your first concludes
  6. Family Law Cases in Texas: The final stages of a CPS case
  7. When can CPS remove your child from your home in Texas and what can you do about it?
  8. What to do if you no longer like your CPS service plan?
  9. In what circumstances could your child end up living with your relative during a CPS case?
  10. What can a CPS investigation into your family mean now and in the future?
  11. What to do if your spouse is being investigated by CPS in Texas for abuse or neglect of your child?
  12. Can CPS photograph your house and request your child鈥檚 medical records in Texas?
  13. Can Child Protective Services take action against you for abusing drugs or alcohol?
  14. Reporting child abuse and neglect in Texas
  15. Drug and alcohol abuse: Texas parents face risks if they fail to become sober
  16. Knowing your rights in a Child Protective Services (CPS) case

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to take a drug test for CPS in Texas?

Yes, if Child Protective Services (CPS) in Texas has reason to believe that substance abuse may be endangering the well-being of a child, they can request a drug test as part of their investigation.

Will I lose custody if I fail a drug test in Texas?

Failing a drug test does not automatically mean you will lose custody of your child. However, if CPS determines that your substance abuse poses a risk to your child鈥檚 safety and well-being, they may take further action, such as recommending treatment programs, imposing restrictions, or pursuing legal intervention.

What can CPS legally do in Texas?

CPS in Texas has the legal authority to investigate reports of child abuse or neglect. They can conduct interviews, gather evidence, request drug tests, remove a child from an unsafe environment if necessary, and take appropriate legal actions to ensure the child鈥檚 safety and well-being.

Does CPS do hair follicle tests in Texas?

Yes, CPS in Texas may use hair follicle tests as one of the methods for drug testing. Hair follicle tests can detect drug use over a longer period compared to urine tests, but they are typically more expensive and time-consuming.

What shows up on a 10-panel drug screen?

A 10-panel drug screen is a common type of drug test that can detect the presence of various substances. While the specific substances included may vary, a typical 10-panel drug screen can test for drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, opioids, benzodiazepines, barbiturates, methadone, methamphetamine, propoxyphene, and PCP.

Does Concentra test for buprenorphine?

Concentra, a healthcare company that provides drug testing services, may include buprenorphine as part of their drug testing panels. However, it鈥檚 important to check with Concentra directly or review their specific testing protocols to confirm the substances they test for in their panels.

How long will you test positive for Sublocade?

The duration of time that Sublocade, a medication used for the treatment of opioid use disorder, can be detected in drug tests can vary. It depends on factors such as individual metabolism, dosage, and the specific drug testing method being used. Hair follicle tests may detect Sublocade for a longer duration compared to urine tests, as they can detect drug use over a longer period.

What does a 12-panel drug test test for?

A 12-panel drug test is an expanded version of a standard drug test that can detect a wider range of substances. While the specific substances included may vary, a typical 12-panel drug test can test for drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, opioids, benzodiazepines, barbiturates, methadone, methamphetamine, propoxyphene, PCP, ecstasy (MDMA), and tricyclic antidepressants.

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