CPS and state law

State law requires anybody who believes that a child has been abused or neglected to make a report to Texas Department of Family & Protective Services (CPS) or to a law enforcement agency.  The law requires CPS to investigate reports of child abuse or neglect for the primary purpose of protecting children.

When investigating a report, a CPS investigator usually:

  • talks to and visually examines the child reported to have been abused or neglected. The talk with the child must be audio taped or videotaped. The interview may be conducted at any reasonable time and place, including at school. The caseworker may transport the child for purposes relating to the interview or examination and must notify the child’s parent of the transportation.
  • makes a reasonable effort to notify you of any interviews and the nature of the allegations within 24 hours after an interview has taken place.
  • discusses the report with you to gain an explanation about the harm or risk of abuse or neglect to the child. You can ask to see the caseworker’s DFPS identification card. The caseworker will tell you how he or she can be contacted during the investigation. It is illegal for the caseworker to tell you who made the report.
  • obtains criminal history information about people alleged to have abused or neglected your child. As necessary, the caseworker may also:
  • interview and visually examine all children in the home;
  • interview any other person alleged to have abused or neglected your child;
  • interview anyone with information about the situation, including those who can verify explanations of the harm to your child;
  • ask for access to mental health records on your child, yourself, or people alleged to have abused or neglected your child;
  • ask for a medical, psychological, or psychiatric examination of your child if it is necessary to establish whether abuse or neglect has occurred or if risk of abuse or neglect exists; and
  • visit the child’s home.
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15 Responses to CPS and state law

  1. Lyn says:

    Houston Texas CPS ignores state law and when necessary, makes up their own laws. They tend to target chronically ill children in a hospital because they know the medical bills have drained their families of funds and because of lack of funds they are unable to fight them. They ignore judge’s orders. They tell family members that if they complete all requirements, they will give the child back. If you do what they ask, they refuse visitation and set you up for failure.
    The bottom line is you can tell CPS is lying when their mouth is moving.

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  3. ruben says:

    I’m going thru a cps case on parent child termination and need some desperate help please call 832-576-0117 or email at given address.

  4. jketterman says:

    You can contact me at my office at 713.652.2003

  5. Shelly says:

    After refusing access to the children, CPS comes back with a court order, what happens next? What is the process?

  6. jketterman says:

    You should first place your children outside the home with a family friend or relative. You can also (with an attorney) set up a meeting with CPS to avoid them getting a court order. If they do come back with a court order, you can argue that the children are placed in a relative/kinship home pending the investigation therefore there is no need for any kind of emergency removal. CPS will likely set the case for a hearing (with or without filing a petition). At that time, they will have to prove why the children should be removed from the home.

  7. Donyell says:

    It’s really great that people are sharing this inorfmtaion.

  8. Anonymous says:

    In June, my child was allegedly molested by her mother. We are not together, nor do we live in the same town. While in the hospital, CPS asked if it was okay to place my child with the mother’s parents and to sign a PCSP. Of course, I was so distraught that I agreed that they were safe. Later, I realized that she should have gone with me. The investigation has been ongoing for over three months with no court hearing and the mother now gets supervised visits. CPS is wanting to take the mother to court and asked me to petition first for custody. My question is was I eligible to take my daughter initially? Also, why would they want me to petition first? Why hasn’t there been any court hearings? What would be my next action?

  9. jketterman says:

    Yes, you were eligible and entitled to take your daughter initially. It’s curious that they want you to file first. That is usually not how they operate. The only possible reason is that they do not believe that they have enough “evidence” to petition the court, so they need you to do it — then they will most likely intervene in to the case.

    There hasn’t been a court case because there is no pending legal case.

    I would go get your daughter and file for emergency custody.

  10. Diana says:

    We are under current investigation by CPS. The backstory: My son suffered a seizure while at daycare and was taken to the emergency room. During the course of testing, the doctors determined that he had 2 subdural hematomas and hemorrhaging behind the eyes, i.e. the tell tale signs of Shaken Baby Syndrome. Neither my husband or I shook our baby, and I don’t want to believe the daycare did, but they don’t have cameras so I can’t say 100% that they didn’t. Per SOP of the hospital, the onsite social worker was notified who in turn filed with CPS. Now me and my husband as well as the daycare are being investigated for abuse. Initially CPS wanted to place our baby and his sister with a family member, but we asked to keep the children in our home with a chaperone–to which they surprisingly agreed. So now, we have a chaperone with us at all times we have the children. The children are attending a new daycare during the day as my husband and I both work. CPS calls our chaperone about once a week and says “we should have some more answers for you by Monday”, and then Monday comes and goes and nothing changes. We’ve had several followup doctors appointments, including appointments with the CARE clinic required by CPS and all doctors have reported “no abuse” in their reports.

    I guess my concern is, how long does CPS have to investigate? We signed the safety plan, but they have never come to the house or called to verify if we are sticking to it.

    Do we have any sort of recourse at this point or do we just continue to “wait it out”?

  11. jketterman says:

    You do have recourse. Tell your caseworker that time is up. If they have enough evidence, to file a legal case. If not, go away.

  12. Elon jackson says:

    I have a question. Co’s was called on my stepson for pushing his daughter down the road in a shopping cart. My wife and I have been taking care of and providing for this 2 you old baby for the past 8 months. Mom’s in prison dad’s a big looser. Been in our home since being kicked out of rehab In dec. Co’s comes out does an interview. Then comes back and says oh, there was another claim over 4 months ago that was never investigated. We dropped the ball on that case. It was for neglect and drug abuse so everyone in the home has to take a urine and hair folical test. My wife took hers. I haven’t signed anything and suppose to take mine tomorrow. Urine test will be fine but 90 day hair folical will fail for various reasons. At that point the baby is taken unless I leave the home or my wife and baby leave the home. Can they actually get away with this and what should I do

  13. Anonymous says:

    Cps came to my home on Thursday. Saying someone called about animal feces being everywhere in all the rooms… I just got rid of quitems a few puppies due to my dog getting out… anyway we kept 2 and we’re gone most of the day to come home and I start cleaning my house. Cps knocks on my door and asks me questions regarding my kids. I answered the question that was asked. My fiance wasn’t here and was mad I let them into our home. With that said after I told the lady she was not allowed to enter a room she proceeded to and took pictures. We just moved into the place so boxes everywhere. One lady picked my 8 month old off the floor and when I went to go take her back she tried to fight me over her. They want to come back Monday. My fiancé doesn’t want to let them in. Is this allowed? Especially after they were already in my home? I need help.

  14. jketterman says:

    In Texas, you do not have to let anyone in your home without a court order or a warrant. CPS may say they have a court order. Ask to see it and make sure that it is signed by a judge. Do not answer further questions. But be polite and do not argue with them. Just firmly state that you want to see the Court order allowing Child Protective Services in your home or to speak with your kids.

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