When it comes to a CPS case, not only can an attorney help you with that sort of matter, but an attorney is probably the best help that you are going to get. Of all the different family law cases, a CPS case is probably the most stressful and confusing from many perspectives. For one, you have to consider how important the CPS case is to the rest of your family. The extent to which your extended family will interact with your child in the future if something bad happens in the case can be extremely damaging to your child's relationship with your extended family.
Next, you also have to consider the case from the perspective that your relationship with your child can be irreparably harmed if it is not handled appropriately and professionally from the start. Simply assuming that everything will go OK with your case without putting in a concerted effort and intentionally developing goals is a mistake. A person can wander into a pay CPS case, but it isn't easy to wander out of a CPS case. Therefore, you need to have developed specific goals, and comma developed a road map to achieve those goals, and been intentional about walking through the road map towards those goals. Anything less means that you are selling yourself and your family short.
Amid a difficult CPS case, an attorney can be the best resource available to you for multiple reasons. For one, a CPS case does not function like child custody or a divorce case. A CPS case works with so much of the action going on behind the scenes. You will not be able to see CPS make decisions about how to plan an investigation or how to conduct interviews with you or another person involved in your case. You do not get to sit next to an attorney who represents CPS on behalf of the city of Texas while they filed documents into court. You can only see the results of those decisions and counter them, if possible, in court.
On the other hand, having an attorney means that you will be able to rely upon someone for guidance and perspective that you would otherwise not ordinarily have. The purpose of hiring a lawyer is not to have the lawyer make decisions for you in a case. Rather, a lawyer helps you understand your circumstances better, provides you information on the law, and then helps you make decisions in your best interest and that of your child. Especially in a process where so much is done behind the scenes, you are better off working with an attorney who has handled multiple CPS cases previously.
The attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan have handled many, many CPS cases on behalf of our clients over the years. We take a great deal of pride in serving clients in difficult circumstances. Certainly, the CPS case is complicated for families to go through. A free-of-charge consultation with the attorneys at our office is free of charge and can help you to learn more about a CPS case as well as the circumstances your family may go through as a result of one being filed against you or your family.
What happens after your child is removed from your home?
If your child is removed from your home as the result of a CPS investigation, then you will likely be left answering many questions period among those questions will be when can your child be returned home to you and what steps do you have to follow to ensure that your child is returned home safely? CPS will have removed your child from your home due to a safety concern or other issue. At the top of their list of concerns will be the immediate safety of your child. If your child has to be removed from your home to complete safety measures in the home or with yourself, it will certainly do so.
The big question that will have to be answered once the removal is done is where your child will be placed. It is possible that your child could be placed with a relative love you're such as a grandparent, Co-parent, or another family member. Additionally, extended family or even a very close family friend could act as the caregiver in this situation. Whatever the specific options are for your family, you need to follow the instructions of CPS in turn over the information to them as quickly as possible so that they can review possible placement options that you have provided them with and perform the necessary background checks. Otherwise, your child may end up going into foster care. I went to another type of CPS facility.
It would be an understatement to say that your child will be going through many life changes due to being placed outside of their own home. Put yourself in your child's shoes: seemingly out of the blue, not only are a bunch of strangers looking into your home in your life, but they are now telling you that you have to quickly pack your belongings then move in with the family that you have never met before. For a young child who likely has no context of anything that is going on in the case, this can be very disheartening, to say the least. You likely have been shielding your child as much as possible from the proceedings. Now they're being forced to confront face to face the ongoing issues in the case.
The caseworker assigned to work with your families from CPS will be charged with making sure the transition is as smooth as possible considering all the different circumstances in the case. Again, no one is telling you that this CPS caseworker will be able to work miracles or will be able to make it so that there are no difficult patches in this sort of transition period; however, the CPS caseworker can work to ensure that your child understands as much as possible about why the move is upcoming and can work with you to learn about the child and their favorite foods, toys, activities and any particular needs they may have.
Primarily, the CPS caseworker will learn as much as they can about where your child is going. Since you will not have as much access to your child, given that the state has temporary conservatorships at this stage of a case, the caseworker will be the primary source of information while your child transitions into a new residence. Of course, you will also play an important role in making sure your child is as comfortable as possible regarding the move in the next steps in your case. While you will have many unanswered questions yourself, such as how long your child will be living outside of your house, that does not mean you can't share with your child what you do know at this time.
Finally, the caseworker will share the information about your child in your family with the new caregiver. The new caregiver will be in a position to be able to help your child adjust to they are temporary new life and help your child learn how to live as well as possible considering the circumstances that they are facing. The only way for you to get crucial information to these folks is to work with CPS. Having an attorney available to help you communicate with this group is extremely important.
One of the important parts of transitioning your child into a temporary housing situation is allowing your child to visit the residence or at least one time before placing the child there. The CPS caseworker will work with your child's schedule to ensure that your child is not overburdened or made to visit the residents at a time that is inconvenient to them. This can be very important depending on the age of your child and their extracurricular activities. Hopefully, the transition can be minimized by allowing your child to become as familiar as possible with their substitute caregivers and new environment.
What can you do to help support your child when they are placed outside your home?
Ultimately, the decision to place your child in another environment during the CPS case will be made by a person other than yourself. As a result, you will have a decision to make at this point. Either you can not participate in the process and benefit no one, including your child, or help support your child during this time. Of course, you will disagree with the decision to have every child removed from your home. However, that does not mean that you can't help your child make the best of a terrible situation.
The most simple way to approach this subject, in my opinion, is to put yourself in the position of your child. They are learning about the nature of a CPS case for the first time, and as a result, they are having to deal with abruptly learning that they will have to move fairly quickly to a brand new residence. This is a lot for a family tap to manage in a relatively short period. As a result, the need to share accurate and honest information with your child is critical. What would you want to know if you were your child?
You can help your child by making sure that they can pack along certain belongings that will help with the transition. Stuffed animals, toys, photographs, books, or other items that help your child remember home would be useful to bring, especially in this transitionary phase. You can help your child to understand that it is OK to be sad about moving but that it is not your intent for this to be a forever thing. You can let your child know that it is not your intent for this movie to be something that lasts forever, but you should not tell your child anything about a timeline to return home unless you are sure that the timeline is accurate.
While it can be painful to do so, I find that helping your child pack as much as possible is something you should do. This is true, especially if your child is young and even if your child is older. I can see how wanting to remove yourself from that process could be beneficial to you from an emotional perspective and make sure your child has everything they need to pack their bags. Borrowing luggage or bags from you may be necessary if they do not have any of their own.
Before your child moves out of the house, you can also help them identify certain people in your life with whom they share an especially close bond. Those are the people and the connections that you should help your child to maintain despite the challenges of removal in this CPS case. While your child will not see you or your family as frequently as who she may be used to, it is still important for your child to have a relationship with these folks during difficult times. You can help provide your child with phone numbers, addresses, or email addresses for people in their life who could provide the comforts of home even while the child is away. You may even be able to help plan a family get-together or small party with friends before your child has to be placed in another residence. Of course, your circumstances may not allow these types of events to occur, but they are preferable when you can set them up in advance.
The bottom line is that your child will feel some anxiety no matter, but the circumstances involved are regarding the move from your home. There is probably nothing you can do to put your child completely at ease about leaving your home. No matter what is going on in your home, your child is likely comfortable and familiar with many aspects of home life with you and your family. As a result, you should not feel like your child will immediately benefit even if you feel like your household situation is not ideal.
One of the most important pieces of information that you can share with your child during this time is to reinforce the notion that the move is not your child's fault. Most children, whatever their age, will believe at least in part that the move from your home is their fault in is a result of their bad behavior or something similar. While you may not be able to convince him entirely that everything going on has nothing to do with them, you can share with your child basic information with the case sufficient for them to understand that the move has not been brought about by something that they did wrong.
Rather, you can explain to your child that while all of you cannot choose the circumstances that have been thrust upon you, you can choose how you handle them and face them. So much of a CPS case is out of everyone's control. You can_the steps you are taking to ensure that your child is returned home to you as soon as possible and help your child to understand a basic timeline of the case as best you understand it. Again, having an attorney available to provide you with guidance and information can be especially helpful when it comes to helping you to be able to explain a detailed process like a CPS case to your child.
Closing thoughts on hiring an attorney for a CPS case
Without a doubt, a CPS case is one of the contrasts. At times, it will seem like time has slowed to a crawl and that the case couldn't be moving any slower. At other times, it will seem like the cases jumped into hyper speed in that too many things will be going on all at one time. What an attorney can help you do is to use the slower times of a case to help prepare for those inevitable times when it seems like the hands-on clock will be moving faster than you can keep up with. When you face a circumstance in a CPS case to the point where your child may permanently be removed from your home, you cannot afford to take matters lying down. Having an attorney to help defend you is one of the best decisions you can make in the short and long terms.
Questions about the material contained in today's blog post? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan today. Our licensed family law attorneys offer free of charge consultation six days a week in person, over the phone, and via video. These consultations can go a long way towards helping you learn more about CPS cases and how your family may be impacted by filing one.