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Protecting the Interests of Grandparents and Foster Parents

Discovering your grandchild鈥檚 involvement in a Child Protective Services case can leave Texas grandparents in a vulnerable position. Without having much experience in any of these types of cases or dealing with CPS previously, you probably have many questions. However, you have found the agency not to be helpful in terms of helping you learn about what is going on with your grandchild. Furthermore, the issue you鈥檙e confronting is that your child shows no interest in involving you in the case or permitting you to assist in any capacity. What sort of options do you have 2 protect your grandchild as best as possible?

If authorities remove your grandchild from their home due to abuse, neglect, or the parents鈥 inability to provide adequate care. This is a nightmare situation for any family to go through. Having worked with grandparents who have seen their families deal with this type of stress can be a helpless feeling. The reason is that grandparents do not always have the easiest time intervening in family law cases in general or CPS cases in particular. With that said, there are Child Protective Services attempts to seek adequate living arrangements for your grandchildren you can potentially play a significant role in your grandchild鈥檚 life.

Grandparent Placement: Navigating CPS Challenges

Child Protective Services will attempt to place your grandchildren with family members. They will look for persons who can pass a background check, be available for the children, have a level of comfort and stability in relation with the children, and participate in any reunification efforts with the parents. Frequently grandparents are the most suitable relative in this regard for placement purposes. However, I鈥檝e also seen Child Protective Services seemingly overlook well-situated grandparents for reasons that are not always clear to me. With that said, you as a grandparent need to be aware of potential obstacles in your path between you and caring for your grandchildren during this difficult time.

The best advice that I can provide you with is to seek counsel from an experienced family law attorney if you find yourself in a position where your grandchildren face removal from their home due to an ongoing Child Protective Services case. An attorney can be your best resource for showing you how To present yourselves as suitable caregivers are there on a temporary or permanent basis depending on your child鈥檚 situation as well as your wishes in terms of becoming a permanent caregiver. An attorney can guide you to the process, help you be as accountable as possible with Child Protective Services, and help you present yourselves in the best possible light.

What does a Child Protective Services case look like in Texas?

I want to give you an overview of Child Protective Services and the cases it may initiate concerning your grandchildren. Child Protective Services aims to protect children at risk of abuse or neglect. The agency has established telephone hotlines and online reporting systems for reporting potential cases. Anyone can anonymously report child abuse or neglect to Child Protective Services. In certain situations, a child may be abandoned, prompting CPS intervention.

CPS caseworkers will launch an investigation if the agency deems there is sufficient evidence to proceed. The investigation aims to assess the status of potential abuse or neglect of a child, potentially leading to the removal of your grandchildren for further examination. If authorities remove your grandchildren from their home, the agency must conduct a hearing within 14 days of removal, allowing your child and their co-parent the chance to contest the removal and seek the return of the child home.

In this initial hearing, the court will decide whether removal was justified and remains necessary. If the agency becomes the temporary managing conservator of your grandchild, the hearing will address the temporary placement of the child outside the home.聽CPS might place your child in a state facility or foster home, or seek temporary care from a relative. This is where you, as a grandparent, play a crucial role.

This highlights the importance of acting swiftly, as you may have only a couple of weeks to intervene in the CPS case. It鈥檚 crucial to have your case prepared and a plan in place if you intend to offer your home as a refuge for your grandchildren during the CPS proceedings. If you fail to present yourself as a potential caregiver, authorities may place your grandchildren in foster care for the duration of the CPS case.

Requesting placement with you as a grandparent

You have the option to request that CPS place your grandchild with you while the CPS case is ongoing. Child Protective Services will require your child and their co-parent to agree to a safety plan and potentially two family-based social services.聽These measures aim to mitigate any risks of harm to your grandchild in their home. It could be as straightforward as addressing maintenance issues in the house or removing an adult from the home who poses a potential risk. Alternatively, your child may need to undergo therapy or counseling to address addiction or anger management issues.

Temporary Care: A Grandparent鈥檚 Choice in CPS Cases

You can opt to request CPS to place your grandchild in your home while their parents are working towards regaining custody from the state. This doesn鈥檛 entail you becoming the primary conservator of your grandchildren in the long term. Instead, you can specify that you鈥檙e willing to care for your grandchildren only during the duration of their CPS case, without committing to further involvement. This is a valid choice. Ideally, your child and the co-parent will regain custody, eliminating the need for you to continue as caretaker.

This approach is common among grandparents in CPS cases. If you believe your child can comply with CPS requirements and regain custody of your grandchildren, you may choose not to intervene further beyond offering temporary care during the case. The hope is that the case will conclude once your child fulfills the agreed-upon CPS requirements.

Another common scenario where you might opt to provide temporary care for your grandchild is if your child is incarcerated but expected to be released soon. In such cases, having a clear understanding of the expected release date and the timeline for CPS involvement is crucial. It relies on your child maintaining good behavior while in prison and maintaining communication with both CPS and your child. While not everyone can manage this arrangement, it may suit your family well.

What are grandparent rights in a CPS case?

Based on the circumstances of your grandchild鈥檚 case, you may be in a position where you believe that your child鈥檚 home offers a physical threat to your grandchild. If you find your grandchild鈥檚 home environment unsuitable for their upbringing, you can actively request to have your grandchild placed with you in your home rather than placing them in foster care.聽Bear in mind that what you are asking for is still contrary to your child and their goals. This will inevitably make things more complicated.

You are asking court four is an intervention when you attempt to come into a CPS case as a grandparent. You would be seeking permanent custody of your grandchild rather than trying to host your grandchild temporarily as their caretaker. There are a couple of issues that you need to be aware of when attempting to intervene in a CPS case on behalf of your grandchildren. Let鈥檚 work through those two issues before we move on to discuss other topics related to CPS cases and grandparents鈥 rights.

There is a chance that CPS may move to terminate the parental rights of the New York child. If that does happen, you will be in a better position to intervene in the case and request a permanent conservatorships. Until then, parents prioritize grandparents when it comes to issues like visitation, custody, and conservatorships. If you intend to intervene in the case to become the primary conservator of your grandchild, then you need also to request a termination of your child鈥檚 parental rights and those of your child鈥檚 spouse or partner.

Grandparents鈥 Role After Terminating Parental Rights

The other issue you need to consider is that once you terminate your child鈥檚 parental rights, you still need to work with CPS to find that placement in your home is in their best interest. Remember that CPS will use the best interest determination when making decisions for your child. This means that what is in your grandchild鈥檚 best interest will determine custody questions and things of that nature. You will be asking to become your grandchild managing conservator. In general, you must be able to show that you have an established relationship with your grandchild and likely that you cared for them on a frequent basis throughout the past few years. Anything short of that will put you in a position where it will be an uphill climb for you to be named primary conservator, mainly if other suitable options exist.

In many cases, you will find that the CPS agent in the caseworker attached to your case will not be primarily in favor of your being appointed as managing conservator. There may be many reasons why this is the case in your circumstances, but I can tell you that it is sometimes the case that grandparents are unfairly viewed as being too old to care for their grandchildren. I am not telling you that you are too old to care for grandchildren by any means. However, this is something for you to bear in mind as you begin this process. Just because you were positioned to intercede as a relative does not mean that you have the leg up over every other party who may be in the life of your child and grandchild.

What about the rights of foster parents?

If circumstances did not allow for you to be the source of temporary care for your grandparents during the beginning of a CPS case, then you may find that a foster family has been caring for your grandchildren. Many of us are familiar with negative news stories and, generally speaking, negative information about foster families. It is tricky for us to understand those foster families, typically speaking, have good intentions, and I only want what is best for children. However, we hear about negative stories associated with foster families in the news, which is why many of us hold negative views about foster care in general.

Many foster parents intend to adopt a child that they are caring for eventually. Bear in mind that we have no idea that your grandchild鈥檚 foster family will want to adopt them. However, your child鈥檚 foster parents often develop a close bond with them during the case and, therefore, will be interested in adoption as a result. This is a competing interest with you and your desire to be a managing conservator of your grandchildren.

From time to time, foster parents are confused as anyone about the intentions of Child Protective Services when it comes to a child they have been fostering. Many times a guardian ad litem, attorney ad litem, or even the grandparents can intervene in a case and disrupt what for them had been an excellent opportunity to become an adoptive parent. From the perspective of a foster family, frequently, we see that CPS may allow the child to return home under circumstances that are not good for that child. With this in mind, a CPS caseworker must understand that even foster families can proceed with representation in hopes of an adoptive family at some point.

What they should tell you about your situation is that you as a grandparent may find yourself with competing parties who believe they are well-positioned to take care of your grandchildren on a full-time basis after the completion of the CPS case. with that being said, I would recommend that you hire an experienced family law attorney as soon as possible once you begin to realize that your goal is to be named as primary conservator of your grandchildren.

It may not be an easy decision for you to decide that this is where you want to go with your case. The idea of working to terminate the parental rights of your child cannot be an easy moment for any parent. However, bearing in mind what is in your grandchild鈥檚 best interests will keep you focused on the objectives of your case while keeping everything else there spent. Impacted, do not underestimate how important it will be for you to have the advice of an attorney who has been there before in guiding families just like yours.

No one expects you to go through a case like this alone. It can be challenging to shoulder the burdens of CPS cases of a grandparent alone. For that reason, I would recommend going through with a CPS case after examining all of the issues in the case and determining that you offer the best possible route towards your grandchild experiencing a fruitful childhood.

Questions about the material contained in today鈥檚 blog post? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan

If you have any questions about the material contained in today鈥檚 blog post, please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan. Our licensed family law attorneys offer free of charge consultations six days a week in person, over the phone, and via video. These consultations are an excellent way for you to learn more about the world of Texas family law and how your family circumstances may be impacted by the filing of a divorce or child custody case.

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  1. What role can foster care play in your Texas Child Protective Services case?
  2. The Rewards and Challenges of Adopting a Foster Child
  3. What are the different foster care environments your child could be placed into?
  4. What you need to know about the Texas foster care system before a CPS case
  5. Grandparents鈥 Rights in Child Custody Cases Texas: A Comprehensive Guide
  6. Can grandparents get benefits for looking after grandchildren?
  7. Is it possible for Child Protective Services gives temporary conservatorship to your child鈥檚 grandparents?
  8. Family Law Cases in Texas: Conservatorship for Grandparents and Custody Determinations
  9. Grandparents can find themselves in a tough spot when raising a child in response to a CPS investigation
  10. Custody and Visitation Rights of Grandparents in Texas
  11. Can grandparents get benefits for looking after grandchildren?

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