Foster Care Examined in the Context of a Child Protective Services Case

Foster Care Examined in the Context of a Child Protective Services Case

Foster care plays a critical role in supporting children through challenging times, especially in the context of Child Protective Services cases. This article sheds light on the complexities and nuances of foster care, examining its impact on the young lives it touches and the systems that guide it.

Foster Care in CPS Cases: An Overview

The State of Texas initiates foster care by taking custody of a child and placing them with approved caregivers. Foster parents must pass rigorous background checks and home inspections to ensure a safe environment for your child. The Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS), which also oversees CPS, provides training to these foster parents.

Your child’s routine may face disruption as they adjust to a new home and school in the foster parents’ community. During this transition, they might have to pause their usual extracurricular activities.

If a suitable foster home isn’t immediately available in emergency situations, your child might temporarily stay in a shelter. This stay usually lasts no longer than a month until authorities find a suitable foster home. Understanding these aspects is essential for parents navigating the complexities of a CPS case.

Foster Care in CPS Cases: Placing Your Child With Relatives Is an Option.

Family and friends of you or your spouse are also potential landing spots for your child upon removal from your home. Typically what happens is that your CPS caseworker will work with you on coming up with a safety plan that will be in place for the duration of your case. The safety plan outlines specific steps that you need to take to meet safety goals that can result in your child’s return to your home.

Often an agreement to place your child with a relative or friend is a part of the safety plan that you can agree with CPS on. There is no formal removal requirement as a part of a safety plan. You agree that it is in your child’s best interests and their safety to have them removed from your home informally and into the care of a friend or relative. However, once removal has occurred, it is possible to temporarily have a friend or relative house your child.

How Long Does Foster Care Last?

Foster care is intended as a temporary measure, not a long-term arrangement. Its goal is to bridge the gap until you can demonstrate to a judge and CPS that your home is ready for your child’s return. This means addressing any concerns related to abuse or neglect.

Sometimes, a relative can step in as a permanent caretaker, offering an alternative to foster care. This option can provide a more stable and familiar environment for your child.

Unfortunately, some children remain in foster care until adulthood, especially in Texas where the system faces significant challenges. Frequent moves between foster homes can disrupt a child’s social and educational stability, posing unique challenges even for resilient kids.

Given these difficulties, it’s vital to explore all options, including identifying relatives who could care for your child during the CPS process. This not only benefits your child but can also give you peace of mind, allowing you to concentrate on fulfilling the requirements of your safety plan.

How Much Will You Be Able to Contact Your Child While He Is in Foster Care?

Foster Care Examined in the Context of a Child Protective Services Case

Once CPS gains temporary conservatorship rights over your child, they will permit you to see your son within one week. However, if CPS determines you pose a physical threat to your child, this permission is revoked.

CPS, similar to cases with single or divorced parents, may establish a visitation schedule for you and your child. This schedule allows you to plan visits. When you visit your child, you should share your feelings with him, but avoid discussing issues that you cannot guarantee are happening.

For example, it is easy and feels good to tell your child that he will be home safe and sound very soon. I would caution speaking this way to your child as you do not know precisely the circumstances that will return your child to your home.

Reports of Abuse or Neglect Against a Foster Parent by Your Child

If your child is being harmed physically by his foster parent, then you need to tell your attorney, your CPS caseworker, and your child’s attorney ad litem.

These are all persons who must contact law enforcement to make a report of possible abuse or neglect of your child. There is a fine line between believing your child when he tells you something is wrong and the frustrated cries of a small child.

Notification for When Your Child Is Moved to a New Location

In most situations, when CPS removes your child from one foster home and places him in another, they will have a duty to contact you and give you notice of this change. The need for an immediate move may arise when the foster family can no longer afford to house your child or if there is a safety concern over that foster family regarding your child.

If there is no emergency and CPS has no immediate need to move your child for safety purposes, CPS should work with you on where your child is best placed to continue their care outside of your home.

These are indeed challenging times for you as you work with CPS to manage your child’s needs and what is best for their safety. Keep in mind that CPS will not always be working towards temporary solutions and permanent plans on what to do with your child. Ultimately if you follow the safety plan created for your case, you will have an excellent chance to have your child returned to your home sooner rather than later.

The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC

Foster Care Examined in the Context of a Child Protective Services Case

As your case proceeds through the courts, remember that a judge’s objective is to help find a situation in your child’s best interests. Questions about this topic or any other in family law can be addressed to the attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC. We offer free consultations with our licensed family law attorneys six days a week.

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  1. Family Law Cases in Texas: Examining the steps in a Child Protective Services case
  2. Managing a Family Law case in Texas
  3. Texas Family Courts: Child Protective Services, Part Two
  4. How to present yourself and testify well in court during your divorce case, Part Two
  5. What to know about Child Protective Services
  6. Child Protective Services Investigation- What to expect and how to handle the situation
  7. Child Protective Services Investigation- What to expect and how to handle the situation, Part 2
  8. Child Protective Services Investigation- What to expect and how to handle the situation, Part 3
  9. 16 Steps to help you Plan and Prepare for your Texas Divorce
  10. How to present yourself and testify well in court during your divorce case
  11. Tips on giving in-court testimony in your divorce or child custody case
  12. Getting Ready for a Hearing On Temporary Custody Orders
  13. Geographic Restrictions in Child Visitation Orders in Texas
  14. The Dirty Trick of Moving Out of State with the Kids
  15. An Overview of the Texas Foster Care System


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