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How CPS Will Encourage Group Decision Making for Your Texas Case

Facing a Child Protective Services (CPS) case can indeed be isolating, making you feel like you’re navigating uncharted territory alone. The fear of losing your child and the weight of the investigation can be overwhelming, leading to demoralization. However, it’s crucial to recognize that CPS’s intent isn’t to leave you feeling this way. One avenue for support is the Family Team Meeting CPS offers. This is where you can engage with a team of professionals to discuss the case and work towards solutions. Remember, it may seem daunting. However, reaching out for help and participating in these meetings can provide invaluable support and guidance during this challenging time.

The best way to combat these feelings is to rally your family and friends behind you. This allows you to develop strong and long-lasting support systems. We have all heard the saying that it takes a village to raise a child. If you became a single parent early in your child’s life, you likely fought hard to raise them alone. Self-sufficiency is a great characteristic to have. However, we all need help from time to time when raising a child successfully.

Today’s blog post from the attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan will seek to show you how CPS will work with you to help build up support systems around you and your child. Throughout your case, these efforts will take on different forms. The end goal will remain the same: to help your child be as safe as possible and help you develop the parenting techniques necessary for him or her to remain safe.

Group meetings with family during a CPS case

The CPS caseworker involved with you and your child will work with you to organize meetings. This is known as Family Group Decision Making meetings. In these meetings, you can invite people whom you believe will support you moving forward in time.

There are two types of these Family Group Decision Making meetings. A Family Team Meeting can occur before your child is removed from your home. After removal, a Family Group Conference takes place. A Family Group Conference occurs after removal.

These meetings are basically brainstorming sessions for you, your family, and your friends. Figure out ways to help you address any problems that you and your child are experiencing in your home. The most crucial aspect of these meetings is your child’s safety, with the conversation almost exclusively focused on this topic. Bringing family and friends to the table can help since they know you and your child much better than CPS. Thus, they can devise a plan as likely as CPS to return and safeguard your child at home.

Taking these meetings seriously and ensuring productivity is crucial for your and your child’s success. Some parents believe that they have all the answers regarding raising a child. This is even after CPS has already intervened in their life. Do not let your pride stand in the way of arriving at practical solutions that can benefit your child’s life.

Family Team Meetings and Group Conferences

These are the two different types of Family Group Decision Making meetings discussed earlier in today’s blog post. The purpose of both is the same: to include your family more fully into the decision-making process when it comes to raising your child.

Family Team Meetings

As mentioned before, a Family Team Meeting will occur before your child is removed from your home. At this point, CPS has not yet filed a petition with the court to allow them to do so, and there is nothing that causes CPS to believe that there is an emergency that requires their intervention. The family team meeting is voluntary- you do not have to attend. However, it would help if you kept in mind that these meetings are a great opportunity for you to communicate with CPS about your specific needs and the services that you may require throughout your case.

You can choose to have friends, family, and other people close to you, and your child attends the meeting with you. Your support system can help you and CPS to come up with a plan for how to address any safety concerns that may exist in your home. You do not need to have an attorney with you at this meeting. If there has not been a court appearance yet in your case, you likely will not have had an attorney appointed to represent you. However, if you can afford an attorney, it would be better if that lawyer could attend this meeting with you.

Family Group Conferences

A family group conference is a meeting that will take place after your child has already been removed from your home. Your child may be living with a relative or a foster family during this stage of the case. A family group conference is a bigger meeting than a family team meeting. Family Group Conferences usually have friends, family, neighbors, teachers, and anyone else who is a part of your child’s life. The purpose of this meeting is to develop a plan for keeping your child safe both in the present and in the future. At this meeting, you can decide how you want your home to operate differently once your child is returned.

Once a court case has started, you really need to have a lawyer by your side every step of the way forward. You can ask the judge to appoint you an attorney if you cannot afford to hire one on your own. You and your attorney should meet before a family group conference to game plan for what may or may not happen.

The CPS worker will not be present for the entirety of the meeting. Their absence allows more autonomy for decision-making. Discuss among yourselves to develop a feasible plan. CPS will review and fine-tune it.

Accountability is key in CPS plans

The most important part of this entire process is that you and your family need to hold one another accountable for your successes and failures associated with the implementation of the plan. If you’re not allowed to see your child except during designated times, violating the agreement by seeing them during unscheduled periods requires your parent to contact CPS about the violation.

At the end of the day, CPS allows your support system and you to wield a great deal of power in coming up with your own plan for benefiting your life and that of your child. Their willingness to do so is based almost entirely on a trust that you will do what you agree to in the plan and will not deviate from it. Your support system acts as a barrier against potential misconduct. If it’s proven that you or your support system can’t follow the plan, the judge may intervene.

CPS Service Plans

A service plan is a written agreement between you and CPS that outlines the services you need to complete to deal with the concerns that CPS has regarding the safety of your child. One of these plans includes supportive services that are intended to help you raise your child responsibly. When talking about supportive services, we are most concerned with drug/alcohol counseling, mental health evaluations, parenting education, and emotionally-based therapy/counseling.

Accessing needed services critical in CPS intervention

These are the type of services you may have been in severe need of but have just been unable to locate them or pay for them, depending on your particular circumstances. CPS will attempt to remove as many roadblocks to wellness as possible for you and your family. If you cannot take advantage of those services- even after CPS has stepped in to assist you- then you don’t have many excuses at that point.

Keep in mind that as soon as you sign your service plan, it goes into effect, and you will be held responsible for either the successes or failures you encounter with it. You may not be entirely sure what one aspect of the plan calls for. In that case, you should contact your attorney immediately and seek clarification on that part of it. You will be expected to follow the plan. Even if you refuse to attend a service plan meeting, CPS can seek a court order that forces you to attend.

Navigating challenges in CPS cases

Finally, it should be readily apparent to you at this stage that a CPS case is a lot of work. Success comes about like a crockpot rather than a microwave. That is to say that success comes about slowly after a great deal of effort and time. Not only will you need to follow the service plan during your CPS case, but you will have to make sure that you can visit with your child every opportunity that you are given. While this is not a problem for most parents, you may find yourself with other commitments that come up. Just because you have an active CPS case does not mean that work, school, or other family issues can be put on pause. However, it is worth pointing out that your CPS case will need to be the focus of your life for as long as it endures.

Do not allow yourself to sign up for more in your service plan than capable of handling. Keep a calendar with you while the service plan is being compiled to ensure that no meetings are scheduled when you need to be at work. You will not be impressing CPS by taking on the most ambitious service plan of all time, only to cancel appointments and meetings due to work activities that you had not planned for during the service plan meeting.

Conclusion

Amidst the complexities of a Child Protective Services (CPS) case, the Family Team Meeting CPS provides a crucial opportunity for collaboration and support. This meeting serves as a platform for open dialogue and collective problem-solving, involving professionals and stakeholders invested in the welfare of your family. Embracing this resource can help alleviate feelings of isolation and empower you to actively participate in shaping the trajectory of your case. Remember, you’re not alone, and leveraging the support available through the Family Team Meeting CPS can significantly impact the outcome of your CPS journey.

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  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 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, Kingwood, Tomball, The Woodlands, the FM 1960 area, or surrounding areas, including Harris County, Montgomery County, Liberty County, Chambers County, Galveston County, Brazoria County, Fort Bend County and Waller County.

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