If you find yourself in the middle of a CPS case it is easy to find your spirits low and your optimism levels even lower. The life that you had led previously with your family could be gone forever all because of a misunderstanding or simple misinformation that was provided to Child Protective Services about you or your spouse abusing or neglecting your child.
Now that CPS has become involved you are feeling stressed out to the max. The purpose of the CPS investigation is not all that clear to you and attempts to contact your caseworker usually end up in voicemails being left multiple times per day. Not ideal for a parent like yourself with a lot of questions and not much time to get the answers that you need.
Keep your head up for your child’s sake
While it is easy to feel sorry for yourself when CPS knocks on your door keep in mind that your child is the one who is truly suffering here. He or she does not understand anything that is going on most likely and has now been exposed to people and things that were before unknown to him or her.
In order to help your child get back into your home, it is crucial that you take steps to protect yourself and your own well being during a CPS investigation.
Talk to people that you trust and remain positive
These two suggestions may not be easy for you to practice but I can tell you that they are absolutely essential to your remaining sane during a CPS case. If you have family, friends, people from church or a therapist available to you, by all means, talk daily to these folks about your situation.
It can be embarrassing to talk to another person about CPS involvement in your life but letting go of your frustrations about your case be freeing. These are the people that you trust most in your life and they have your and your child’s best interests at heart. Lean on them during the tough times of your case.
You are not in a hopeless situation. Let me repeat that: you are not in a hopeless situation. You may not be an attorney or have knowledge of the legal system even in a general sense but this CPS case can be managed by you and your family.
A CPS case has a beginning point and an end point. What’s more- you have the power within you to affect the outcome of the case through your behavior and actions. Nobody is going to take the steps that you need to take for you, but with the power of positive thought and proactive thinking, you can help yourself a great deal.
Patience is a virtue
I’m willing to bet that at some point in your life someone has told you that patience is a virtue or something similar to that. The legal system is not well known for quick and efficient justice but take solace in the fact that your case is on a timeline and has an end date that is typically one year from the start of the investigation.
This is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you only have to go through the case for one year- not an endless amount of time by any means. If you can stay positive, be involved and take positive steps to improve your life during this year you can have your child returned to your home relatively quickly.
On the other hand, you only have a year to prove to a judge that you have what it takes to keep your child safe and provide a home life that is conducive to raising him or her. Depending on the allegations being made against you or your spouse this can mean that you have a lot of work to do in a relatively short amount of time.
Fortunately, your CPS caseworker will work with you on taking the necessary steps to make those improvements, and you have the ability to hire an attorney who will advocate on your behalf and make sure that you are meeting the guidelines set forth by CPS in your safety plan.
Take inventory of your life and remain sober
It could be the unfortunate situation where you are having to come face to face with an addiction to drugs or alcohol as a result of CPS becoming involved in your life. Previously you would have thought that you didn’t have an addiction, per se, and that you could handle your parenting responsibilities just fine despite being altered mentally from time to time.
Fast forward to the current CPS investigation and it should become clear to you that a life using substances and a life where you are able to parent your child are no longer compatible. This means that you should take whatever steps are available to you to eliminate the usage of drugs and alcohol from your life. CPS most likely has resources available to you where you can attempt to sober up and eliminate a cause of concern regarding your ability to parent.
It is also not lost on me that stress can lead you to relapse and rely even more heavily on drugs or alcohol. A CPS case is extremely stressful and it is easy to lose yourself in the comfort of an old addiction. With that said, your ability to anticipate this condition and surround yourself with people who can support and love you during tough times is important.
Evaluate the people that you spend your time with and figure out if you need to make changes in that area. Remember- who you hang around with will influence your attitudes towards your children, your career and your personal life. If those people are also putting you in dangerous situations from a substance abuse perspective you need to eliminate those people immediately to ensure you stand a chance at having your child returned to your home.
Help your child by helping yourself
In a CPS case, you will need to quickly learn what is involved in an investigation, your role in it and whether or not you need assistance in advocating for yourself and your child. Once an investigation is underway it can be easy to lose sight of all of the important factors in a CPS case because you are focused so intensely just on making it through the day. If you do not know what is important in a case you will have even less of a clue on how to make sure that you are taking the steps to actually achieve your goals.
Hiring an attorney and working closely with the CPS caseworker are perhaps the most important and basic steps that you can take to help yourself and therefore help your child during a CPS investigation. These folks will help you manage your case, keep appointments and meet the goals that you and CPS have set for yourself as far as having your child returned to your home. The experience of these folks will compensate for your anxiety over not knowing exactly how to best proceed in certain situations.
Acting with purpose in a CPS case is important- we’ll discuss how to do so in tomorrow’s blog post from the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC
If you are seeking an attorney who will act with your and your family’s best interests in mind look no further than the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC. We represent families across southeast Texas who have active cases with CPS and would be honored to do the same for you and your family. Please contact us today for a free of charge consultation with one of our licensed family law attorneys.
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Other Articles you may be interested in:
- Child Protective Services and their ability to impact your child's life
- Help your child and yourself in a Child Protective Services case by remaining actively involved
- Family Law Cases in Texas: Examining the steps in a Child Protective Services case
- Managing a Family Law case in Texas
- Texas Family Courts: Child Protective Services, Part Two
- How to present yourself and testify well in court during your divorce case, Part Two
- What to know about Child Protective Services
- Child Protective Services Investigation- What to expect and how to handle the situation
- Child Protective Services Investigation- What to expect and how to handle the situation, Part 2
- Child Protective Services Investigation- What to expect and how to handle the situation, Part 3
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 cases in Houston, Texas, Cypress, Klein, Humble, Kingwood, Tomball, The Woodlands, Houston, 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.