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What is Child Protective Investigations?

Child holding hands with parent

Have you received a visit or call from the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS)? If so, it can be one of the most nerve-wracking and stressful experiences of your life. If you are currently being investigated by DFPS, you likely have many questions. Why are they investigating you? Who complained about you? What is Child Protective Investigations exactly?

When someone formally complains or voices their concerns that a parent, another family member, or a household member might be abusing or neglecting a child, Child Protective Investigations (CPI), a division of the Department of Family and Protective Services, is the agency that conducts an in-depth investigation into the allegations.

If necessary, DFPS investigators and caseworkers may refer the child’s parents to various services to help educate them on safe and healthy parenting techniques. Such services may help teach parents how to discipline and take care of their children without placing them at risk of abuse or neglect.

The above services may include:

  • Daycare
  • Evaluation
  • Treatment
  • Parenting classes
  • Homemaker services

Why Did DFPS Visit Your Family?

You may have been surprised to open your door only to have a DFPS investigator or caseworker standing there with a clipboard. What sent them to your home? Under Texas law, if someone suspects or believes a child is being neglected or abused, they are required to report their suspicions to law enforcement or DFPS. By law, DFPS must investigate such reports in order to protect the children in the state.

“Will my children be taken away by DFPS?” is a question many parents ask. DFPS does not remove all children from their homes. On the contrary, it only removes children when doing so is necessary to protect the children from neglect or abuse.

“With a court order, DFPS can remove children when they are unsafe and the family is unable to make the changes needed to keep them safe. Depending on what is going on with the family, DFPS may get a court order to remove children or it may remove children before getting a court order,” according to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.

If a child is removed from a home without a court order, the case will be reviewed by the court on the next business day. However, a hearing always takes place within two weeks of a child being removed by DFPS.

For professional legal assistance with a DFPS or CPS case, contact Hunt Law Firm, PLLC at (832) 781-0320.