Child Protective Services (CPS)

Representation From Trusted Katy Family Lawyers

Child Protective Services (CPS)

Are you dealing with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) or Child Protective Services (CPS)? Hunt Law Firm, PLLC can help. CPS cases can be difficult to navigate and all parties involved benefit from responsive, knowledgeable counsel. Our firm provides receptive, hard-working representation for all stages of CPS cases. Our Houston family law attorneys will keep you informed during all stages of your case and will always ensure you are making the decisions that will help determine the outcome of your case. Call our firm today to begin building your case.

CPS Case Overview

Child Protective Services can be intimidating, and just mentioning the agency's name can cause stress over what can happen to your child. This is why it is important to have legal representation every step of the way. CPS cases have multiple key factors, including:

  • Investigation
  • Family-based safety services (FBSS)
  • Removal
  • Court proceedings

The typical CPS case begins with an anonymous report of child abuse or child neglect made to the Texas Abuse Hotline. Reports may be made online or to the statewide toll free hotline number. Reporter's identities are protected as long as their report is made in good faith. The Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) then typically assigns an investigator to determine whether the report is credible.

Depending on allegations, the investigative caseworker will usually interview many parties:

  • Parents
  • Child
  • Daycare or school teachers
  • Doctors
  • Relatives
  • Family friends
  • Neighbors

After completing the investigation, CPS may find no reason to believe abuse or neglect has occurred and will send a letter to the parent(s) closing the case. However, CPS may find a reason to believe abuse occurred and will have several options on how to proceed. Family-based safety services are an option CPS may offer that does not involve filing a lawsuit to remove the children or terminate parental rights. Family-based safety services (FBSS) maintains the child's safety while in the home. Children may be allowed to remain in the home during FBSS. CPS may also request a parental child safety placement (PSCP), where children move in with relatives or fictive kin (family friends). Parents are typically provided with a plan that outlines services, classes, and goals to complete. CPS may also make resources available to parents, like daycare or parenting advisors. If a parent fails to complete the FBSS plan of service, CPS may file a petition to remove the child or children.

Removal & Court Proceedings

The Texas Family Code states the requirements and standards for removing children from their parents or guardians. Depending on the circumstances and the priority level of the alleged abuse, Texas Child Protective Services may remove the children immediately or may go to court to request a removal. The typical CPS cases last between 12-18 months. CPS cases are typically held in juvenile courts, family courts, or specialty CPS courts. A family or juvenile judge listens to the evidence and makes important decisions that impact the case.

You will be required to attend numerous hearings, including:

  • Full adversary or show cause hearing
  • Status hearing
  • Permanency hearing
  • Final hearing (trial)

It is important to have quality representation, not only at each hearing, but also at the events that occur outside of court that will determine the outcome of the case. Before the status hearing, a meeting will be held to determine what is in the family plan of service. The plan will list services to be completed and goals to be meet. CPS also often conducts permanency planning meetings, including family team meetings, family group decision making conferences, family group conferences, and permanency conferences. Parties will also be required to attend mediation before a final hearing as well.

Call On the Firm for Reliable Legal Counsel

Whether you're a biological parent, adoptive parent, or the child involved in the case, Hunt Law Firm, PLLC can provide the representation you need. From listening to your goals and objectives, to creating a trustworthy client / attorney relationship, you can receive the personalized attention and reliable advocacy you need with our knowledgable Katy family law attorneys.

Call (832) 781-0320 to schedule your consultation today!