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Child Protective Services Reporting Abuse or Neglect

The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services conducts investigations into alleged acts of abuse or neglect against children. When it comes to conducting investigations like this an important aspect to be aware of is that the agency receives anonymous reports and then conducts its investigation to determine whether or not there is sufficient information to proceed. If you have been contacted by a Child Protective Services representative about potential acts of abuse or neglect against your child, then you should consider this when determining your next steps in the investigation. You may decide to participate in the investigation, or you may prefer to not participate based on your specific circumstances.

One of the reasons why some people will choose to participate in a CPS investigation is out of concern that the failure to participate could result in the removal of their child from you are home. CPS can indeed remove your child if they believe that there is an immediate threat of harm to him or her. We see this in circumstances where your child has been abused or neglected before the likelihood of that occurring is significant even after CPS first meets you. 4, CPS may seek an emergency removal of your child even before the investigation begins. This will be done by contacting their attorney in having the attorney file a petition for CPS to take temporary conservatorship over your child. a judge will review an affidavit submitted by is CPS investigator and will then decide whether or not removal is justified.

However, CPS may determine that the circumstances are not sufficient to remove your child from the home. Rather, they may determine that your child should remain in your home due to your participation in the investigation or simply because the risk of harm to your child is not present based on the circumstances at hand. This does not mean that their investigation is going to end soon or that you can not pay attention to the case or any contact attempts by CPS. Rather, it simply means that your child will be allowed to stay in the home as long as your case he's active with CPS and no additional risks is presented to your child.

One element to this conversation is that your family may be referred to family-based safety services to develop or further develop skills related to parenting. These could be day-to-day parenting skills such as learning about household hazards, preparing meals, and the importance of your child attending school. These safety services may also present you with information about the risks of leaving your child unattended in otherwise susceptible to harm while you are away.

This would cover a situation where you would potentially leave your child alone at home without supervision for any period. Even if you planned on being away for only a short period or had childcare arranged that was not quite going to line up correctly for your family. You need to be diligent about providing your children supervision certainly while they are elementary school age or younger. Even older children may not be mature enough to care for themselves. While you may not have purposely left the children alone for the next three your time problems can arise where your children are placed in harm's way because they were left unsupervised in your home without you being present.

Once family-based safety services are agreed upon you and your CPS caseworker would layout a specific safety plan that would have to be worked on by you throughout the case. This safety plan is an agreement in writing created by you and Child Protective Services. A typical safety plan will contain certain provisions that will relate to it well being of your child moving forward.

Typically, a safety plan involves you listing certain people in your life from whom you can seek help or assistance when it comes to raising your children. This list of people can include family, friends, neighbors, or other people in your community that is trustworthy and incapable of assisting you in difficult times. The circumstance that we just finished discussing involving leaving your child home alone even for a short period is a perfect example of how having a support system like this can eliminate the need for CPS to ever become involved in the life of your family again.

Additionally, depending on where you live you may be referred to community services that can help you and your family in various areas of your parenting lives. Sometimes parents struggle with financial issues due to a lack of income or underemployment. In that case, we may be referred to work with a counselor through the Texas Workforce Commission to ensure that you can find suitable employment to pay bills for your children. Or you may be referred to a program where you can complete a high school degree or vocational program that will allow you to earn more money to support your family.

In cases that involved drug or alcohol abuse, your local chapter of Alcoholics or narcotics anonymous may be contacted to allow you to have an opportunity to become sober we have a better chance to be clear-minded and make good decisions on behalf of your children when they are in your possession. You may be able to seek out these sorts of community resources to take advantage of or if you do not have the means to do so CPS can't perform these steps for you. However, it takes meaningful coordination between you and CPS to accomplish these tasks. Specifically, it may require you to put forth more effort than you otherwise would have expected to make sure that you can fulfill your end of the bargain when it comes to you coordinating this type of course and opportunities to better yourself as a person and parent.

Depending upon the situation involving you and your child, the agency may provide you with direct assistance in your home when it comes to caring for you and your family. The agency employs persons who can provide home visitation with you and your child and can help you to troubleshoot potential problems as they arise. The matter is that not all of us have tools in our toolbox that necessarily allow us to be competent and caring parents. However, everyone who put forth the effort to improve their parenting can stand to learn something from circumstances like this.

In some situations, it may be as simple as asking for help times 2 cleaning up your home, and making it ready for your children. All of us parents can feel like we are dropping the ball at certain times when it comes to the cleanliness of our home. While that doesn't always mean that our children are removed from the home it could mean that we need some extra help when it comes to keeping the medical house Clean. CPS can even contact the local house cleaning service to assist you in getting the house clean and show you how to prevent additional problems like bug infestations from occurring.

Situations involving family violence

unfortunately, you may also be in a situation where family violence has become an issue for your family. This could be true if you are in an abusive marriage or relationship that you are attempting to leave. However, that can be made more complicated if you rely financially on your partner and lack the means to able to find alternative housing even temporarily. In that case, CPS may be able to locate temporary housing for you in a place location that you are spouse or partner is not aware of the period from there, you can file for divorce or be provided information about free or low-cost legal assistance to obtain a protective order four Tipperary restraining order. This could potentially allow you to return to your home and begin to lead a life independent of a spouse or significant other who is abusive.

Unfortunately, this may also mean willingly giving up possession of your children for a short period while you attempt to locate suitable housing that is safe and away from the violent spouse or significant other. For example, you may be asked to provide the name or information of an aunt, uncle, or even grandparent to assist in this endeavor. You should begin to brainstorm individuals who fill this role for your family and then provide their information to CPS. A background check will have to be run to determine if that person is a viable candidate to be able to care for your children temporarily.

In the alternative, CPS may be able to work with your Co-parent or spouse to remove themselves from your home to allow her children to rain in the house. Many times, you see this in a situation the perpetrator of the abuse or neglect is remorseful and understanding of their need to remove themselves to keep the family safe. In that case, you should work with CPS to coordinate anything they ask for regarding the information on that parent removing themselves.

Please bear in mind that any member of your family who is a part of the safety plan needs to be aware of what it says and then follow the plan exactly as specified. You and your family members may have separate roles to fulfill an obligation to uphold to fulfill the objectives of the plan. As a family, it is recommended for all of you to sit down together to go through the plan and understand each of your responsibilities. Any questions that you have regarding the plan or the language used within the plan should be directed to your CPS caseworker or supervisor.

What happens during the legal proceedings in a CPS case?

CPS can be tasked with we're moving your child if it is not safe for him or her to remain in your house. You do not necessarily need to view this as a permanent move. It almost certainly does not mean that CPS will be attempting to terminate your parental rights. However, those are options at CPS's disposal, and you should be aware that the failure to participate in or fulfill your obligations under a safety plan can result in the termination of parental rights. As a result, you need to be very aware of watching your obligations under these plans and clear on what the expectations are.

With that said, you may also not be able to avoid a situation where your child is removed from the home. If CPS asks you if you are willing to voluntarily relinquish custody and possession of your child, then that is a consideration for you to make. On the one hand, you may be completely unwilling to go to those lengths. If that is your decision, then CPS will likely initiate hey courtroom proceeding to remove your child from the home. The first step in this process is to have an attorney for CPS file a lawsuit questing permission to take temporary custody of your child to remove the camera from your home. This could be done by a CPS lawyer or by a district or County Attorney depending on your jurisdiction. Bear in mind that if CPS takes custody of your child without your permission, then certain deadlines attach where the agency will have two attend a court hearing with you to continue to take possession of your child.

Day one of this process involves removing your child and the possibility of an emergency hearing. This occurs if a CPS caseworker believes that there is a present danger of serious harm to your child where he or she remains in your house. This is typically based on finding that you or a Co-parent are incapable of caring for your child and especially regarding an inability to keep your child safe and free from harm. CPS will attempt to take remedial measures to allow your child to remain in your home. However, if the agency determines that no remedial measures are available that could also keep your child safe and keep him or her in the home then removal will be sought.

If CPS removes your child from your home without a court hearing, then an emergency hearing must be held by a court on the first working day after your child is removed. At no time can your child be removed from your home for more than three days in appearing not beheld reviewing the decision by CPS to remove your child. The purpose of this hearing will be to help the court determine if there are sufficient factors in play that justify their removal. If the judge believes that there are sufficient factors in play that merit or remove your child from the home CPS will then remain in possession of your child until an additional hearing or decision by a family court judge.

Within two weeks of your child being removed from the home, another hearing will be held where the judge will enter temporary orders regarding your child and their custody by CPS. In the alternative, the judge could return your child to your home if the judge believes that it is safe to do so and in the best interest of your child. CPS will be named as the temporary managing conservator of your child and visitation as well as safety planning guidelines will be outlined in these temporary orders that will allow you to attend counseling or therapy while working to regain custody of your child.

After 60 days, a judge will hold a third hearing known as a status hearing. The status hearing will allow the court to touch base put the relevant parties to determine if continued custody by CPS is still appropriate. The well-being of your child will be reviewed, and your progress made in fulfilling the obligations of your safety plan will also be scrutinized. People like guardian ad items and court-appointed special advocates would likely testify in this hearing to help the judge understand more about how your child has been doing. You will have an opportunity to testify about your work and fulfilling the obligations of your safety plan and any problems you've had along the way. If you have experienced any difficulties associated with the safety plan you should bring that to the attention of the court at this hearing.

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

If you have any questions about the material contained in today's 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 a great way for you to learn more about the world of Texas family law as well as about how your family circumstances may be impacted by the filing of a divorce or child custody case. Thank you for your interest in our law practice and we hope he will join us again tomorrow as we continue to share relevant and interesting information about Texas family law.

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Other Articles you may be interested in:

  1. What to Do When CPS Asks for a Drug Test in Texas
  2. CPS and how The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC can help
  3. Take control of your child’s 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’s medical records in Texas?

Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC | Houston, Texas CPS Defense Lawyers

The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC routinely handles matters that affect children and families. If you have questions regarding CPS, it's important to speak with one of our Houston, TX CPS defense Lawyers right away to protect your rights.

Our CPS defense lawyers in Houston TX are skilled at listening to your goals during this trying process and developing a strategy to meet those goals. Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC by calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online form. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC handles CPS defense cases in Houston, Texas, Cypress, Klein, Humble, KingwoodTomballThe Woodlands, the FM 1960 area, or surrounding areas, including Harris CountyMontgomery CountyLiberty County, Chambers CountyGalveston CountyBrazoria CountyFort Bend County, and Waller County.

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