If someone contacted Child Protective Services (CPS), a state agency in Texas established to help keep Texas children safe, reporting a concern that your child is not safe in your care, it is possible that CPS could remove your children from your home. Before we explain how CPS cases work in further detail, please understand that all citizens in Texas are required to call (800) 252-5400 and report suspected child abuse or neglect.
If someone makes a report to CPS about your child’s safety being at risk and your children are removed from your home, CPS will leave a paper at your home called a Notification for Removal, which will outline the reason why your children were removed.
What if I Disagree with the Reason for Removal?
Having your children removed from your home is understandably, traumatic and upsetting. If you disagree with the CPS’s decision and their reason for removing your children from your care, you have the opportunity to explain your side of the story to a judge shortly after your children are removed by CPS.
Most parents struggle with the idea of their children being placed in foster care, and who can blame them? If you disagree with your children being taken away, it’s important that you explain yourself to the judge.
You will need to provide an explanation of the events or circumstances that led to the removal of your children and the placing of them in foster care. However, the judge will not give you a private audience in his or her chambers. You will only be able to speak to the judge during court hearings, so it’s important that you are fully prepared.
Your rights in a CPS case:
- You are entitled to an attorney.
- You have the right to deny the allegations.
- You have the right to admit to the allegations.
- You have the right to receive notice of all court hearings regarding the CPS case.
- You have the right to be present at all meetings and court hearings.
- If you do not understand English, you have the right to an interpreter.
- You have the right to speak directly to the person working on your case (the caseworker).
Unlike some other types of cases, things move quickly when the case has to do with child abuse or neglect. If your children were removed from your home, it’s critical that you know what’s expected of you and when. If you fail to act promptly when you’re supposed to, it could make all the difference in if or when your children are returned to you.