Being investigated by Child Protective Services (CPS) can be an extremely nerve-wracking experience for a parent, especially if the risk of losing custody of one’s child is a possibility. While CPS is obligated to act within a child’s best interests, there may be controversies over what’s best for a child and the efforts to protect children.
If you are being investigated by CPS, it is within your best interests to contact an experienced attorney immediately in order to get a better understanding of your parental rights. For assistance in standing up to CPS, call our experienced family law attorney at the Law Office of Lauren Cain immediately.
What Is Child Protective Services?
CPS has a number of responsibilities, as outlined on the website of CPS:
- Providing services to children and families;
- Placing children in foster care;
- Helping youth in foster care make a successful transition into adulthood; and
- Assisting with the adoption process.
CPS is also responsible for becoming involved with children and families when the family is reported to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS). If a family is reported to the DFPS, then the department will investigate any allegations of abuse or child neglect.
What Happens After a DFPS Starts an Investigation?
If there are any allegations of child abuse and neglect, then Child Protective Investigations (CPI) will investigate the case to determine whether or not there are any threats to the child’s safety. If threats do exist, then investigators will need to determine whether or not the child’s parents are both willing and able to manage those threats in order to keep the child safe. If the investigator ultimately determines that the children are unsafe, then the following actions may ensue:
- Referral of the family to services to address the problem – a number of family-based services, such as parenting classes, are offered by CPS;
- Referral of the case for Family-based Safety Services;
- Filing of a petition with the court asking for the court to take some sort of action to protect the child, including the termination of parental rights or/and removing the child from the home.
What Happens When DFPS Removes a Child from a Home?
If CPS/DFPS is investigating an alleged case of child abuse or child neglect, one of the most pressing fears of parents is what will happen if the department determines that abuse or neglect is occurring, and removes a child from the home as such. Is it crucial that you contact an attorney if your child has been removed from your home.
If your child is removed from your home, there are a few things to keep in mind as you proceed with your case. The following steps can help to improve the ultimate case outcome, and may be crucial in regaining custody of your children as soon as possible:
Express your concerns to your investigator/caseworker. The first thing that you should do if you believe that your child has been taken without cause or you have questions about the process is to express your concerns to your caseworker. Your caseworker has an obligation to answer your questions transparently and provide you with information about the process. Maintaining a communicative relationship with your caseworker may be very positive for your case long-term, too.
Complete all necessary steps in your case. If you have been asked to attend therapy or counseling, participate in family-based services, etc., be sure to complete all of the necessary steps in your case as soon as possible. Doing so will show the court and CPS that you are serious about your duties as a parent and taking action to regain custody of your children.
Attend your hearing and follow all orders. If DFPS removes your child without a court order, then a hearing will be scheduled within two weeks of removal. Make sure that you show up to your hearing, have your case prepared and ready to present(consult with your lawyer for assistance), and that you follow any order issued by the court. If you do not have an attorney at the hearing, then the chances that your child will be placed in foster care are much greater. Once your child is placed in foster care, the case becomes much more complex, and getting your child back that much more difficult.
Hire an attorney as soon as possible. The most important thing to do if you are being investigated by CPS, and certainly if you have had your children removed, is to hire an attorney immediately. It is very unlikely that you will be able to effectively represent yourself against CPS without legal representation.
Using a Lawyer Against Child Protective Services – How the Law Office of Lauren Cain Can Help
It can be intimidating to reach out to an attorney for legal help if your child has been removed or you are being investigated. Remember, though, that an attorney has a duty to protect your confidentiality and to put your best interests first. When you work with the Law Office of Lauren Cain, you’ll benefit by:
- Having our attorney explain to you how CPS and DFPS work, the process for investigations and child removals, the hearing process, your rights as a parent, etc.;
- Knowing that our attorney appreciates the immediacy and sensitivity of your situation, and will work with both in mind:
- Working with an attorney who knows the law, the courts, CPS attorneys and their processes, and how best to proceed with your case; and
- Having a representative throughout the entire process who is committed to serving you.
Guiding You Safely Home: Call Our Lawyer Against Child Protective Services Today
There are few things more sensitive and emotional than issues involving children and parental rights. At the Law Office of Lauren Cain, our Texas family law lawyer understands this, and wants to make sure that your best interests and the interests of your children are protected. CPS can be very aggressive in its efforts – call our law firm for the protection and counsel that you need. You can reach us by phone or online to request your consultation and start the process of defending yourself against CPS today.