One of the most difficult parts about being involved in a CPS investigation in the case is the invasive nature of the whole process. The very fact that a person made an anonymous report to CPS about your treatment of your children is enough to make you feel like your privacy has been violated. Some of the more difficult realizations that we have to come to as parents involve when we realize another person has witnessed something or taking something out of context that is negative regarding our parenting of the kids we love so much. In a nutshell, that is what a CPS case is based on.
A CPS investigation typically begins with the agency sending out an investigator to your home to contact you about any reports made regarding the safety and well-being of your child. CPS is a state agency that investigates alleged acts of abuse or neglect against your child. Keep this in mind, but even if CPS does come to your home, it may not be regarding any harm you directly caused. However, as the caretaker and conservator of your child, you have responsibilities when it comes to ensuring that your child is as safe as possible at all times. As a result, you will be an important part of any investigation regarding your child.
Once the investigation is underway, you will have to determine 12X10 you will be participating with the caseworker and investigator assigned to your family. There is nothing in the law that obligates you to participate in a CPS investigation. Depending on your circumstances, it may even be in your best interest to not participate or to do so on a limited basis. However, before you can know what is in your best interest in that of your family, it is recommended that you speak with an experienced attorney who has worked on CPS cases previously. The experience of a CPS attorney, combined with the knowledge of your specific circumstances, can put you in a position where you will know what to do when a CPS caseworker comes to knock on your door.
It can be quite a shock to learn about base EPS cases based on seeing someone from the state of Texas walk up to your driveway. Learning that they are there to discuss a matter related to the well-being of your children can be disconcerting and intimidating. At the beginning of the investigation, you may not even know why you are being looked into or contacted by the state. However, you need to understand the extent to which CPS can impact your life or even access your home in private information.
To begin with, I would like to talk to you about the ability of C PS2 to remove your child from your home and to what extent they can place your child in settings that are unfamiliar to you and not based on your wishes. Typically, if you are in a position where your child has been removed from your home, you will be consulted to an extent regarding where your child will be living. However, we should examine this question further to determine where you can turn to when it comes to your child being removed from your house.
Will CPS ask your child their preferences regarding removing them from your home?
Depending upon your child's age, it is very likely that the CPS caseworker involved with your family will consult with them regarding where they will be placed after being removed from your home. Generally speaking, the agency understands that the more involved your child feels in the process, the more likely they will adjust relatively well to their new surroundings. Additionally, your child knows what they need as far as living arrangements are concerned, especially if they are teenagers. Even younger children can provide necessary insights when it comes to placement if asked.
For example, you may have provided a sibling of yours to CPS as a possible destination for your child after they are removed from your home during an investigation. You may have provided your sibling's name and information because they live close by and that your child has spent time with them consistently. However, your child may have had any experience with a relative you were not aware of. As a result, only your child could have provided this sort of helpful information about your relative and why they may not be an appropriate choice for a temporary housing source.
Additionally, children can be prone to acting out or engaging in disciplinary problems if they do not feel like they have been made a part of the decision-making process regarding where they will be residing during the CPS case. As a result, a relatively simple step that CPS can take is to cause your child to feel more involved with asking about their preferences on living arrangements during the new investigation. That does not mean that your child's wishes will always be honored by CPS, but it does mean that your child's input is valued.
Overall, I always recommend that parents be as honest in clear with their children about removal circumstances as possible. This does not mean that you should share every intimate detail about your case with a child. It also does not mean that you should try to sugarcoat or be unclear about a circumstance to make your child feel better. At the end of the day, honesty is still the best policy. If you can provide your child with information that can assist your child with better understanding the process, that is an ideal mix of honesty and clarity about the case.
It can be frustrating to a child, for example, to be told one thing about an investigation by you only to learn that was not necessarily the case. For example, even telling your child something as mundane as you'll be home soon can be enough to cause them problems regarding expectations and discipline during a case. Giving your child a false sense of hope in terms of when they will be allowed home can be enough to cause a child to suffered behavioral lapses or other issues with discipline
What are some of the factors that CPS will consider in determining the appropriate placement for your child during a CPS case?
To begin with, every time a CPS caseworker is in a position where they need to select a caregiver to look after your child during an investigation, the CPS caseworker will have to consider several factors that will allow them to understand what is in the best interests of your child. Throughout a case. There is no reason to expect your child to be happier or better off by sugar-coating the situation. It could be argued that your child will do better the more honest you are, even if the honesty does not present the rosiest picture in this short term.
I experience that CPS will give preference to placing your children with a noncustodial parent or with an extended family member. That means that if you and your child's other parent do not reside together that they will be given every opportunity to host your child during a CPS case. This should not be surprising given that your Co-parent knows your child better than anyone and is in a position to be able to offer guidance and reassurance during a difficult phase in their life. For all the difficulty that you will be experiencing during a CPS case, imagine being a young child and going through the same circumstances?
Additionally, you will see that a CPS caseworker will attempt to contact relatives of yours to determine whether or not they are the inappropriate source to be contacted regarding your child's placement during a CPS case. The agency places a great deal of emphasis on placing your child in an environment where their culture and community are respected and that they can be cared for on that level. The extended family offers a great opportunity for children to be looked after during a transition period like this.
If your child is of school-age, then the agency will also have to consider what is in your child's best interest in their academics and success in the classroom. I have seen many children adjust fairly well to difficult circumstances involving removal in a CPS case if only because they were so focused on their education that outside events did not factor as much into their lives. Remember that school considerations involved their sense of well-being as far as their education and their accomplishments and ability to engage in extracurricular activities. In this context, school means much more than their grades or their ability to see friends.
Like any other context regarding issues regarding your child, the best interests of your child's standard will be utilized by a court. The best interests of your child are determined in large part by considering these factors listed here. There can be other considerations to make, but we also know that children are unique until themselves. It is not always possible to make this kind of decision without incurring a few mistakes along the way. With that said, the more involved you can be in this placement subject, the better off your child will likely be.
The permanency plan for your child is an underrated and not often discussed factor that CPS will use when determining where your child should be living through the case. For example, if the goal of your CPS case is to have your child returned to live home with you permanently, then CPS will likely identify that early on in the placement process and make decisions regarding placement based on this. On the other hand, if placed back in your home permanently is not among the agency's goals, then the decisions may be different as far as placement of your child during a CPS case.
Above all else, CPS wants your child to feel safe and be safe. Additionally, the agency will want your child to feel comfortable and in an environment where they can thrive as best as possible based on their circumstances. Whatever the best circumstances for being in an open and unrestrictive set of situations will be appreciated by your child and sought after by CPS. CPS for wanna put your child in a situation where they feel comfortable and live as normal a life as possible based on their circumstances. While it may be impractical or impossible to mimic your household environment for your child directly, the fact is that the agency can do a lot to ensure that your child feels comfortable no matter what they are currently going through the case.
More information on placing your child with a noncustodial parent
When we talk about a noncustodial parent, I mean that this will be the parent of your child who does not provide the daily care. Most typically, a parent who pays child support or otherwise does not live with the child. However, this parent is not in a position to Be a daily caregiver, but that does not mean that they cannot offer a great deal to your child during a CPS case. Let's finish off today's discussion by going through some special considerations for noncustodial parents related to being a possible placement option for a child during a CPS case.
When it is determined that your child must be removed from your home during a CPS investigation, then the agency will have to make an effort to OK your child's noncustodial parent and determine whether or not they are a suitable source of care for them during the case. This will take some time, especially if you are family and unsure where your Co-parent is living.
Your child will likely be familiar with their other parent on some level which will add to their comfort level with them, period. This is especially true in comparison to other relatives and especially true compared to people that your children have never met before, like a foster family. It is also likely that the noncustodial parent has a personal interest in your child's well-being and has obligations under the law over and above any caretaker responsibilities. This is an impressive assortment of circumstances that could impact where your child will ultimately be placed throughout your case.
Ultimately, this is a decision that the state agency will need to make, its attorney, you, and any other persons involved in the case, such as a child advocate. A home visit will be required of any person who is in the running to become a temporary caregiver for your child. This is a reality for every person who goes through consideration to house your child during a case just as you saw your house inspected by CPS personnel, so to will the person who is in consideration to house your child during a CPS case.
Another important consideration regarding your child's placement will be wanting your child to be as close to your home as possible. This is especially true when the permanency goal for your child is to be reunited with you in your home. Your child's placement must be in the same county as your home unless safety issues make this an impossibility or impractical.
In tomorrow's blog post from the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, I would like to share my thoughts on what happens after your child is placed in another home during a CPS case. Specifically, what factors, if any, come into play 1, a parent needs to take steps to have that child returned home. For instance, after your child is placed in another home, what can you do to ensure that they can come home to you sooner rather than later? That is what we will be discussing in tomorrow's blog post.
Questions about the material contained in today's blog post? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan
If you have any questions about the material contained in today’s blog post, please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan. Our licensed family law attorneys offer free of charge consultations six days a week in person, over the phone, and via video. These consultations are a great way to learn more about the world of Texas family law and how your family's circumstances may be impacted by the filing of a divorce or child custody lawsuit.