What to Expect During a CPS Investigation in Texas
Being contacted by a CPS Investigator can cause fear and anxiety in the heart of any parent. Though this is a serious situation, the first step to alleviating some of your stress is to gain a better understanding of the investigation process and your rights.
First of all, know that if the CPS has contacted you, someone has likely filed a report to them about the possibility that your child’s health and welfare are in danger. This does not mean that you have done anything wrong or that your children will be taken from you. Many allegations turn out to be false or were based on the misunderstanding of the person who filed a report. It is best to remain calm and respectful as the CPS seeks to understand your family situation during an investigation.
A CPS investigation typically involves several steps, including:
Interviewing the children
Interviewing the parents
Investigating the criminal record of those accused of neglect or abuse
Informing you about the safety concern for your children
Creating a safety plan for your children, if necessary
What are the Possible Outcomes of a CPS Investigation?
You should also be aware of the potential outcomes of an investigation conducted by the CPS. In many cases, the investigation proves to the CPS worker that the report of neglect or abuse is unjustified. In cases where the investigator believes that alleged neglect or abuse likely did not occur, CPS will usually close the case.
The CPS investigator may also discover:
The neglect or abuse may have occurred – In this case the CPS worker might work with the parent to develop a safety plan. This would include resources that are necessary to keep the child safe in the home. The CPS may request that the parent voluntarily place the child under the supervision of another adult until the safety plan is complete. This step would not involve a court order.
The child is in imminent danger – If the CPS finds that the child’s health and safety at immediate risk, they may seek a court order to remove the child from home. The CPS also has the authority to remove a child from home without a court order, if they have reason to believe the child is in imminent danger. When a child is taken from his or her parents, it does not mean that the parents will permanently lose custody of their child. The court will get involved at this point, and you will need to work with the court and CPS to make any necessary changes that will make your home a safe environment for your child.
Get the Representation You Need
Even if you think the allegations made against you are false, you should consult with our family law attorneys as soon as the CPS contacts you. Our experienced legal team can help you navigate every stage of the investigation and court proceedings.