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Approaching visitation from the perspective of your Child Protective Services case

The most important aspect of your being able to visit with your child during your Child Protective Services (CPS) case is that you all will have been separated from one another for what will likely be the longest period in your lives. Going from seeing one another every single day to once every week or even more can be incredibly difficult for parents and children. The time that you are afforded to be able to spend with one another is precious.

This is likely information that you are aware of, but it bears repeating that your child does not simply know that you are thinking about them or that you are worried about them if you cannot express those feelings directly to him or her.

You need to make sure that your child is aware of your feelings and how badly you want this investigation to end and to be reunited in your home. Remember that your child will be speaking to their attorney, the Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) as well as to their CPS caseworker. You want these people to learn that you and your child have been speaking and conversing on this level.

After all- what you are trying to establish is that your child will be safe in your care. By reaffirming that your child is going to be taken care of by you moving forward he or she will feel safe and will be more comfortable with the idea of eventually being returned to their home with you. How your CPS caseworker evaluates, these visitation sessions will determine the reports that are made to the judge and how long your case may run. Take each opportunity seriously, and your case will benefit as a result.

Can you learn anything from these visitation sessions?

You may consider yourself a great parent who loves and cares for your child as much as possible. Before this CPS case, there may have been nothing that would indicate that your life would take a turn for the worse and wind up with a CPS investigation threatening to tear apart your family. The fact remains, however, that this case involving your family is very much real and as a result is now going to be a part of your life. With that said, you should look at this investigation and the opportunities you are given to see your child as a chance to better yourself.

Are there aspects of your parenting that you could improve upon? Likely, yes. That doesn’t just go for you as a person involved with CPS, either. Each of us who counts ourselves among the ranks of parents could improve in some form or fashion when it comes to parenting our children. Why not speak to CPS about what they see in the relationship and use that to better yourself? This is good for you, good for your child and also good for your case. It is a no lose situation.

If a part of your case is you meeting with a therapist you are referred to by CPS then, by all means, meet with that person about what you are experiencing in the investigation and what led you to be investigated in the first place.

There may be aspects to your life that you were unaware of previously that an investigator can help you sort through effectively. This investigation may be the best thing that ever happened to your parenting if it means being able to improve yourself and your parenting skills.

What services have been recommended to you and are you taking advantage of them?

Your investigation does not just mean that you have to attend some courtroom hearings and manage your case with a CPS employee. You will be expected to progress in the plan laid out for you by CPS and agreed to by none other than you.

CPS will want your visits with your child to go from supervised at their offices to supervised in public places and even your home. If the transition is to occur where your child can return to your home on a permanent basis, it will be smart to get your child re-acclimated to your house.

The opposite of this general principle can also apply, however. If you do not take advantage of the visitation periods that are afforded to you or you act inappropriately towards your child or any other person involved in your case your visitation time can be reduced dramatically. Be on alert that you need to be completely devoted to your child at all times of your case- especially when you are in their presence and CPS has employees watching your interactions at all times.

Preparing for a visit with your child beforehand

Before making a trip to the visitation site contact the CPS personnel who will be supervising and confirm that the visit is taking place where you believe that it is. The most important thing to keep in mind is that it is not out of the realm of possibilities for an appointment to be changed. However, if a visitation session is set to occur you had better be sure of the location. You will upset your child and CPS if you fail to appear at the scheduled date and time.

Do not assume that just because you called CPS that your specific caseworker would know. CPS employees work in large buildings with many employees at least in large counties. This means that calling a general phone number and leaving only your name and phone number will likely be insufficient. Your contact number, the name of your caseworker and a brief question will more than suffice.

Once you have contacted CPS and have left a voicemail to make sure to write down the call attempt in a journal or log book.

Arrange transportation well in advance of your visitation period

If you own a vehicle, make sure all tire pressures have been checked and that the vehicle is gassed up and ready to drive for a visit with your child. This may seem like overkill, but please be aware that your CPS caseworker will not see it as a problem with your vehicle if you fail to show up for a visitation session. Rather, it will be a problem with you and your parenting skills and priorities if you fail to arrive on time for a visitation period with your child.

On the other hand, if you do not have transportation to get to your meeting, you should work out a ride well in advance of the hearing. Be communicative with the person who will be providing you with transportation. If they need you to be ready early so that they may drop you off at the visitation location a little early, then you ought to be prepared to do that if it means getting to the appointment at all.

In general, waiting until the last minute to do anything when it comes to planning for your CPS case is foolish, but especially so in the area of visitation of your child. Make sure that you can arrive on time and can stay the entire length of the prearranged visitation time.

Our last few tips on taking advantage of visitation with your child- tomorrow’s blog post from the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC

Join us tomorrow as we go over final tips on being at your best during a visitation period during your CPS case. If you have any immediate questions or concerns for our attorneys, please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC. One of our licensed family law attorneys can meet with you for a free of charge consultation where your questions can be answered.

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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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