The tough part of being involved in a Child Protective Services (CPS) investigation is that the same people who are investigating you for allegedly abusing or neglecting your child are the same people who can permanently clear your name and help your life return to normal.
The same person who comes into your home pokes around your bedroom and talks to your child about sensitive issues is the same person who can help you find services and programs that can improve your health and your family life. Life with CPS does entail the handling of a double-edged sword.
CPS will cause you to come into contact with some different people during your investigation. For one thing, CPS has extremely high turnover among its employees, and as a result, your caseworker and investigator may not be employed with CPS for more than a few months. At which point new contact people will be provided to you, and the cycle begins anew. It is hard to develop a sense of cohesiveness or trust when there are new people continually being moved in and out of your and your child’s lives.
Outside of just the employees that work for CPS, you will most likely come into contact with counselors, therapists, guardians ad litem and courtroom personnel. If you are not a people person and feel uncomfortable having to speak to and interact with a lot of people today’s blog will likely be of great help to you.
Assisting others so that they can assist you
I would approach every interaction you have with people in your CPS investigation as a means to an end. If your child has been removed from your care, then your number one goal will be to have your child returned to your home as quickly as possible. Each person related to your case has a role to play, and it is up to you how you respond to those roles. If you are disrespectful and belligerent with these folks your ability to have your child returned home decreases significantly.
On the other hand, if you think ahead regarding your goals in this CPS case, you can help these folks do their jobs while also increasing your chance of having your child returned to you sooner rather than later. Keep in mind that while some of these folks may have unclear roles at first, your attorney will explain to you that a guardian ad litem, counselor or CPS interviewer have the potential to testify to the judge and are extremely important to the ultimate conclusion that is arrived at in your case. Consider what impression you will give to each of these people by the way you act and speak to him or her.
The bottom line is that each of these people wants to help keep your child safe and do not have anything against you personally. Treating these folks with patience, answering questions and cooperating in the services each is providing to you can help you out immensely. You may have to swallow your pride in doing so, but you will quickly forget about that once your child is back home with you safe and sound.
Your relationship with your CPS caseworker
The most important person that you will come into contact with during your CPS case is the caseworker assigned to you. This person will be the point-person for arranging services that are designed to help keep your child safe. If you need help finding a job CPS can assist you. If you need help staying sober CPS can assist you. If you are overwhelmed due to the responsibilities and expectations regarding parenting, then CPS can assist you.
Just as important, the CPS caseworker will be present in court at any hearing regarding your case. You will agree to parent plans, service plans and at various other times safety plans as a part of your CPS case. Your ability to live up to the terms of those plans will be reported to the judge by your CPS caseworker. These reports go a long ways towards you being able to put your CPS case behind you and have your child returned to your home. Developing a strong and trusting relationship with your CPS caseworker is critical in doing so.
Just because a CPS caseworker has entered your home and disclosed information to you regarding allegations made against you or your spouse of abuse or neglect of your child does not mean that he or she intends you any harm.
They understand that you are in an awkward position and that your reaction to them is in a defensive posture. Nobody enjoys being told they aren’t doing something well- specifically when it comes to raising a child.
These CPS caseworkers are overworked, in my opinion. These folks are being pulled in many different directions at once and will not be able to supply you with the attention that you believe you and your family deserves. Do your best to stay patient with your caseworker despite their limitations in available time. You may have urgent requests or update for your CPS caseworker. Leave him or her a voicemail message and follow up with them continuously after that.
Building a relationship with non-CPS employees
While your caseworker represents the most important relationship you will build during your CPS case; there are other people involved that will also have an impact on your situation- for better or worse. Generally speaking, these people are referred to as “service providers.” Physicians, therapists, substance abuse counselors, and other mental health and behavioral professionals are the types of people that may be called service providers in the context of your CPS case.
Just as the CPS caseworker will be available to testify in any hearing these service providers will as well. The judge will likely have some questions about the progress that you are (or are not) making in regarding completing your service plan. Each new hearing will find the judge issuing new orders regarding your case. If these service providers are there to help you achieve a required order, they will be asked to testify about this at the following hearing.
Service providers are like the people you went to school with or your co-workers. You will like some of them and not like others an unusually significant amount. That’s just how it goes. You won’t be able to pick the people you come into contact with, but you can choose how you treat each person. The more involved you are with the services they provide and the more cooperative you are, the quicker each stage in your case will go and likely the more successful you will be.
If you find yourself in a position where you are working with a service provider who is disrespectful or not giving you the sort of attention or respect that you feel you deserve it is your job to speak to your caseworker about this. It is possible for a substitute service provider to be assigned to your case, though this does not happen all that frequently. Still, if you believe it is necessary, you ought to speak to CPS about it.
Learning how to communicate with the people in your CPS case- tomorrow’s blog post subject
If you are interested in learning more about how to relate and speak with the people associated with your child’s CPS investigation, please come back tomorrow. We will be going over this subject in detail to help you develop successful communication and interpersonal techniques.
Any questions you have on CPS investigations or any subject in the field of family law can be addressed to the attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC. One of our licensed family law attorneys can meet with you six days a week to answer your questions. A consultation with our office is always free of charge.
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Other Articles you may be interested in:
- Communicating with Child Protective Services employees during an investigation
- Visitation with your child during a Child Protective Case in Texas
- Approaching visitation from the perspective of your Child Protective Services case
- Saying goodbye to your child after a Child Protective Services visitation session
- What to Do When CPS Asks for a Drug Test in Texas
- CPS and how The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC can help
- Child Custody Basics in Texas
- Texas Child Visitation Modification
- 10 Quick Tips About Parental Visitation
- Texas Parental Visitation – Texas Standard Possession Orders in Harris and Montgomery County, Texas – Part 1
- Supervised Visitation in a Texas Divorce: Can it happen to me?
- Texas Parental Relocation
- Geographic Restrictions in Child Visitation Orders 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.