CPS stands for Child Protective Services (CPS), which is a division of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (FPS), an agency established to help protect children in the state. All citizens in Texas are required to report suspected child abuse or neglect to the authorities. We are all “mandatory reporters.”
What if I Disagree with My Child’s Removal?
Parents have rights and if they disagree about the reason for their child being removed from their home, they have every right to explain their reasoning before a judge, soon after the child is removed from their care.
It is very important for you to tell your side of the story to the Court through the proper legal process, as well as the events that led your child to being placed in foster care. However, you cannot speak to the judge privately. You can only speak to the judge during an official court hearing, and it is critically important to have legal counsel to guide you through what can be a complicated process.
The purpose of Child Protection Court is not to punish parents; it is to help keep children safe. The judge, however, has discretion over your case. He or she can order you to get help. They can also order that your child be placed in the custody of CPS, at least temporarily. If this happens, CPS becomes legally responsible for your child’s well-being. With Child Protection Court’s approval, CPS can decide where your child will live and what you must do before your child can live with you again.
Your rights include, but are not limited to:
- You have the right to a family law attorney and/or a child welfare attorney.
- You have the right to admit to allegations made against you or your family member.
- You have the right to deny any allegations against you or a family member.
- You have the right to receive notice of all court hearings.
- You have the right to be present at all court hearings.
If you are being accused of child abuse or neglect, please be aware that things move quickly in these types of cases, so you do not want to delay in seeking legal representation. An attorney can help you understand what needs to be done and when, so you can do it. Acting quickly can make all the difference in having your child returned home quickly.