The best way to describe a CPS case is to use details regarding each phase of a typical case. Like a divorce or child custody case, a CPS case has multiple phases that follow one another. However, the biggest difference between these three types of family law cases is that a CPS case can end abruptly depending on the evidence, circumstances, and other factors that can impact the case. Make no mistake, the facts and circumstances of your CPS case will determine the outcome just as much as the law will.
The conservatorships phase of a CPS case involves the agency taking possession of your child and being in charge of the daily decision-making. This means that issues like education, health, medical, and other important areas of their lives will be made by Child Protective Services. This does not mean that you will have lost your conservatorships rights. However, it will mean that temporarily Child Protective Services will have gained primary conservative ship rights.
Why could CPS gain primary conservatorship rights over your child?
It may be determined that there is reason to believe that you engaged in abusive or neglectful behavior with your child. When there is enough evidence to support this sort of position, the state of Texas may be able to go to court to obtain permission not only to remove your child from your home but to gain temporary conservatorships rights over them. These conservatorships rights are temporary pending the results of your investigation in the case.
A CPS case follows a trajectory based on certain events as they occur within the courts. For example, your CPS case may be relatively short if you participate in the safety planning and elimination of risk of harm to your child. CPS will allow you to participate in counseling sessions, family-based virtual services, and other mechanisms that are intended to allow your child to return to your home permanently. However, your participation in the process needs to occur info before arriving at this stage.
Again, depending on the severity of the allegations made in the evidence available within your case, the ability to have your child return to your home sooner rather than later may be limited. I recommend speaking with an experienced family law attorney to help guide you throughout this process. The attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan are well versed in this area of the law. They can help you prepare for whatever circumstances you find presented to you more, keeping an optimistic perspective on achieving their return of your child to your home at the end of the CPS case.
How does Visitation with your child work during a CPS case?
The frequency with which you can spend time with your child during a CPS case is always one of the first questions asked as attorneys by a parent in your position. Because it is such a commonly asked question that we encounter not regularly, I wanted to share with you some information regarding CPS and how it approaches Visitation during a CPS case.
Keep in mind that the most important purpose regarding Visitation is to make sure that you and your child will maintain a relationship. It is understandable to have concerns over your child feeling like they are being left alone or taken advantage of in some way when removed from your home. For this reason, Visitation with you will be promoted, and you will be given every opportunity to see your child as much as possible during a CPS case.
The agency understands that it is important for your child to feel like they are part of a community and family, even during difficult times in a CPS case. It would be unreasonable to expect that your child would experience similar feelings of cohesion and community in the custody of Child Protective Services. As a result, the agency will work with you to develop a schedule for Visitation that suits all parties. At the same time, you may not be able to see your child as much as you would like. It certainly will be better than nothing.
Another aspect that is sometimes overlooked is that you can see her child is important from this perspective. Without Visitation, you and the agency would not properly plan for a permanent custody arrangement. The entire CPS case is designed around finding a permanent solution for your child regarding conservatorships and permanency in placement. If you cannot visit with your child during the CPS case, the agency will have no way of determining whether it is feasible for your child to be returned to your home and reunited with your family.
From the beginning of a case until a trial, a CPS case can sometimes take one year or even more. The case is kept to a fairly rigid standard regarding how long a case can take to complete, but it is important to note that some delays and continuances are possible. For your case to be concluded promptly, you need to engage in the Visitation opportunities provided to you. Otherwise, you will have less of an opportunity to have your child returned home to you.
You cannot be upset that your child was removed from your home and at the same time not engage with you during Visitation. Keeping a bond with your child during your case can be nearly impossible if you fail to take advantage of the time you are allowed to be with them. Even if the conditions under which you have Visitation aren't exactly ideal, You need to take these opportunities seriously and engage with the Visitation as best you can. This is your best possible route towards having your child be reunited with your family in your home.
Losing family connections at an early stage in your child's life can be extremely harmful to them period; that does not mean that the agency will put your child at risk and provide you with more Visitation time is appropriate, in their opinion, but it does mean that the agency will work with you to arrive at Visitation solutions that are in the best interest of your child. If you can spend regular time with your child, then that will mean that there is some sense of stability in your child's life, even during the topsy turvy path of a Texas CPS case.
Visitation and foster care
If your child is placed into foster care, they could face an even greater risk of feeling separated from anything resembling a family and may suffer mental health consequences as a result. More frequently, you can visit with your child during this case can certainly positively impact your child's well-being. Allowing your child to see how you are functioning during the CPS case can allow your child to display positive behaviors even though they may not be happy in the foster care period.
One of the main issues that foster families contend with when it comes to children in their care is that children are frequently not behaved or act out as a result of the many negative inputs that they are experiencing in their lives due to CPS case. my own experience in these cases is that the more you can visit your child in foster care the better behaved they will be in the better adjusted they will become to the rhythms of a CPS case. The risk to your child of suffering mental health illnesses during a CPS case in foster care is real. However, through regular Visitation, you have the solutions to those problems in your hands.
There are many reasons why regular Visitation with your child during a CPS case is important.
Being able to have regular contact with your child during a CPS case is vitally important. This may go without saying, but I do know that some parents begin a CPS case from the position of feeling like there is nothing they can do and that there is no hope of having their child returned home to them at any point. However, this position is misguided, but it is based on conjecture and assumptions that are not necessarily true. Not only does your being able to spend time with their child benefit you, but it certainly benefits your child in many ways.
For example, your child may have spent the time since their removal blaming him or herself for being taken out of your house. This may sound silly to us as adults, but children tend to blame themselves in many cases when bad things happened to their parents or themselves. Whether or not your child has ever told you that they blame themselves for and the actions that led to removal may be irrelevant. You need to understand that if your child is prone to engaging in this type of thought, you're able to see them and constantly reassure them that not playing a role in that process is extremely critical to their mental health.
Another positive aspect of parent-child Visitation during a CPS case is that you are receiving constant affirmation from your child about the possibility of reunification at the end of the case. Well, no one can predict exactly when a CPS case will come to an end; it is easier to determine the end stage of a case when Visitation schedules are followed other services are taken advantage of. For example, by taking regular Visitation with your child and following steps containing your safety plan, you are best able to ensure your child's well-being.
There may also be changes that you need to make to your life to ensure that your child can come home in short order. Seeing your child every week is a constant reminder of those changes you need to make. Just seeing your child's face and interacting with them daily good motivate you to make those changes permanent in your life. Depending upon those changes, it may take a lot of patience and self-control for you to implement them.
You may have also been working on skills and techniques to help raise your children, deal with anger or even remove stress from your daily life. Many parents in CPS cases go through counseling or other types of therapy letters designed to lead to more fruitful and beneficial interaction between you and your child. If this is the case for you and your family, Denise Visitation sessions are an opportunity to try out any skills your techniques you have been learning.
Another important reason why Visitation during a CPS case is important is that this is a great opportunity for you to share information with CPS that may be useful as far as raising them daily is concerned. If your child's foster family has been expressing problems with your child in some regard, then you are available to consult with your child's caseworker during these Visitation sessions to help control the behavior of your child.
However, from your perspective, the most important reason why Visitation during a foster care case is so important is that the more you can visit with your child, the greater likelihood your child has of returning home at some point during this case. On the other hand, not taking advantage of all the time you have with your child during a CPS case on May 10, two lessons your ability to reunite with your child at any point.
What is the first Visitation session going to be like after your child is removed from your home?
CPS will likely want you to be able to see your child within two days of having them removed from the house. I know your spouse and your children would all be available to see your child, who is placed into CPS custody. The location of the first Visitation session can depend on several factors, most notably upon what is convenient for you as the parent, given your location relative to the foster family. The location will have to be safe for all parties involved: your child, the foster family, and the agency.
It is unlikely that a busy or crowded environment would be conducive to a first visit. A quieter, more private location is best because there may be some communication issues during an initial visit like this. An at-home visit at the home of the foster family, a park visit, or are their quiet location may be conducive to the first Visitation session. Even having the Visitation session at a CPS office location can work as long as the setting is comfortable and all parties agree to have it at that location.
How to prepare for a first Visitation session
You will be given as much notice as possible to prepare for the Visitation session. A street address and directions will be provided to you as far as whether or not your child will be able to see you from the second you arrive at the Visitation site or whether or not additional steps would need to be in place that had to be fulfilled before your being able to see her child.
Your CPS caseworker will discuss with you what the setting will be like for the Visitation session, what items you can and cannot bring, what you can bring to help your child feel like they're at home, and how you can respond to your child's questions about when they will return home and how often these Visitation sessions will occur before that point in time.
Additionally, your child may have specific concerns about the foster care process for the CPS case in general. If you have your thoughts on that subject, you can discuss them with your CPS caseworker. However, in many cases, you won't have the right words to say right off the bat. However, by working with experienced CPS case professionals and your attorney, you can develop the right words to use in the right circumstances. This will be beneficial both for your child and for you as a parent.
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 via video and on the phone. These consultations are a great way for you to learn more about the world of Texas family law and how your family circumstances may be impacted by the filing of a divorce or child custody case.