In Texas, a
Child Protective Services investigation may be initiated after the police are dispatched to a home
for a family violence call (domestic violence), after a concerned citizen
calls the Texas Abuse Hotline, or after a mandatory reporter places a
call to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS)
on suspicion of child abuse.
Once a Child Protective Services (CPS) investigation has begun, the caseworker
should strive to complete the investigation
within 30 days of becoming aware of the report, if at all possible. In some cases, however,
a supervisor may approve a caseworker’s request for an extension.
Priority I & Priority II Reports
Reports of child abuse are divided into two categories: Priority I and
Priority II. If children appear to be in immediate danger of abuse or
neglect, or if the caseworker believes there is a risk of serious harm
or death, the investigation should begin
within 24 hours of the initial report. These cases are grouped into the Priority I category.
Other cases of abuse fall into the Priority II category, and are investigated
within 72 hours of the report.
Sometimes, a report will come in, yet it will not meet the Texas Family
Code’s legal definition of child abuse or neglect. These reports
will not be assigned a priority, and it is possible that they will not
be investigated. Common reasons why a report would not be investigated, include:
- The allegations are too vague or general.
- The report does not contain enough information to locate the child’s
family or their residence.
- The situation is already being investigated by a caseworker.
- Based on the nature of the report, the child does not seem to be a victim
of neglect or abuse now or in the future.
If you are a biological parent, adoptive parent, or stepparent who is being
investigated for child abuse, Hunt Law Firm, PLLC may be able to help. Contact us today.