What to Do If CPS Has Taken Possession of Your Child in Texas

Child Protective Services (CPS) in Texas has significant authority to investigate and respond to allegations of child abuse or neglect. They can remove a child from your home if they believe it’s necessary.

CPS operates 24/7 hotlines for confidential reporting of such allegations, and certain professionals, like doctors, lawyers, teachers, and police officers, have a legal obligation to report abuse or neglect when they discover it. If your child is the subject of a report, your local CPS office will initiate an investigation. Hence, it’s crucial to contact family law attorneys such as lawyers from The Law Office of Bryan Fagan.

When CPS begins an investigation, what’s your role as a parent?

Once a CPS caseworker receives an assignment, they will likely contact you to schedule interviews. They will also contact anyone else relevant to or knowledgeable about the alleged abuse or neglect. While cooperating with CPS and being open may seem like the best approach, it’s often not advisable. Anything you say can be used against you, potentially resulting in the removal of your child. It’s usually best to hire an attorney experienced in CPS investigations at this stage.

If the investigator gathers information supporting the allegations, they will remove your child from your home. CPS’s first choice is placing the child with a family member or your spouse. To secure conservatorship over your child, CPS will prepare an affidavit outlining your case’s circumstances and present it to a judge. The judge will review the allegations and decide whether to issue an order allowing CPS to remove your child.

After this, your child will be placed with a family member or foster family. A hearing will occur within 14 days, where you and CPS present evidence about whether abuse or neglect occurred. If you can’t prove there was none, more “permanency hearings” will follow, and your child will stay in CPS custody for an extended period.

Does your child need to attend a CPS hearing?

The Texas Family Code requires your child’s presence at such hearings. If your child is over four and the judge deems it in their best interest, they’ll consider your child’s opinion on their permanent placement, depending on their age.

However, Texas doesn’t strictly enforce this rule. Judges often decide on a case-by-case basis whether your child should attend. In practice, many children don’t attend permanency hearings.

What’s achieved by having your child at a permanency hearing?

The most crucial aspect of your child attending a hearing is that their wishes about their future home will be known to the judge. Their perspective could be vital for an informed decision.

When a child is in DFPS custody, most updates come from caseworkers and State employees, but the turnover is high. Attending hearings can help your child learn about their situation.

Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC

If your child is involved in a CPS case, don’t wait. Get in touch immediately with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC. Our attorneys have experience with CPS cases in southeast Texas, and we’re available six days a week to answer your questions and discuss your case.


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