CPS (Child Protective Services) is responsible for investigating charges of neglect, exploitation, or abuse of children. By law, any report of child abuse must be investigated by CPS. Commonly, CPS cases cause devastating effects for families. Some parents mistakenly believe CPS will immediately recognize their innocence. Rarely is this is the case. Our family law divorce attorney Austin is here to discuss concerns and questions you may have.
In addition to Texas CPS conducting investigations of neglect and abuse of children, CPS is also responsible for the following:
- Providing services to youths in foster care while they transition into adulthood
- Placing children into foster care or adoptive homes
- Providing services (like counseling) to children and families
As mentioned, once a report comes in of child neglect or abuse, CPS must open an investigation to determine the legality of the accusations. These investigations will initiate and complete within 30 days. They will examine the accused individual and family functions for evidence, including:
- Attempting with reasonable effort to inform the family of the nature of allegations and interviews within 24 hours after an investigation begins
- Interviewing the allegedly neglected or abused child
- Visiting the home
- Requesting psychological &/or psychiatric examinations of the child &/or other family members
- Interviewing other children in the home
- Interviewing any other persons who may have information about the accusations
If CPS concludes sufficient evidence of the allegations, protective services initiate to safeguard the child from further harm.
Offenses Investigated by Texas CPS
- Neglect. CPS will investigate claims against an individual for any of the following omissions or acts:
- __Failure to seek medical attention for a child risking their life, bodily harm, or disfigurement
- __Leaving a child in a dangerous situation that poses a risk to their mental &/or physical damage
- __Failure to nourish, clothe or shelter a child to sustain life
- __Placing a child in or failing to remove a child from an environment that results in bodily harm, risk of immediate danger, or sexual misconduct.
- Child Abuse. Accusations of injury to a child, child abuse whether intentional, recklessly or with criminal negligence. Including causing severe mental deficiency, injury, impairment to a child, or bodily injury to a child.
- Abuse. Furthermore, CPS will investigate any accusations of abuse to a child, including:
- __Committing sexual misconduct detrimental to a child’s mental, emotional, &/or physical well being
- __Use of a controlled substance resulting in emotional, physical, &/or mental injury to a child
- __Encouraging or compelling a child to engage in pornography or sexual conduct
- __Failure to make a reasonable effort to prevent the acts of another person causing physical injury to a child
- __Causing emotional &/or mental injury to a child
- __Permitting a child to use a controlled substance
- __Causing bodily harm &/or threatening to cause substantial harm to a child
Possible Consequences of a CPS Investigation
Following a CPS investigation, the case moves to deposition. In a deposition, CPS judges if there is sufficient evidence of child neglect or abuse. If so, CPS moves forward with the case.
Commonly depositions may conclude any of the following:
- Administrative Closure. A deposition concluding intervention by CPS is unnecessary or unwarranted.
- Reason to Believe. A deposition with overwhelming evidence reasonably concludes the neglect or abuse occurred.
- Unable to Determine. A deposition alternatively given if no other conclusion is possible.
- Ruled Out. A deposition reasonably concluding neglect or abuse didn’t occur.
- Unable to Complete. Deposition of an incomplete investigation because the family refused to cooperate or fled the investigation.
The CPS deposition must also determine if the child is reasonably at risk of future abuse &/or neglect. CPS will take the following actions for each outcome:
- CPS concludes reasonable future risk to the child. Significant risk factors are present &/or the family is unable or unwilling to address these risk factors, therefore, failing to ensure the child’s safety in the future.
- CPS concludes the child is not at risk. No significant risk factors of neglect or abuse are present, or the case may be closed if the family is able and willing to address potentially harmful elements in their lives.
If CPS determines a reasonable future risk of neglect or abuse to the child, four actions are possible.
- Recommendation of family services to address the risk present.
- Removal of the child from the home.
- Opening a case for family-based services.
- Filing a petition to initiate civil court action to protect the child.
Responding to CPS Involvement
Our family law divorce attorney Austin is experienced in handling emotionally charged, complex CPS cases. Once you retain counsel, we will come to your defense to protect your family’s rights. Furthermore, if CPS deems child removal necessary, we will fight for your child to be placed with family members instead of foster care. Give us a call, we’re here to help.
To find out how we can help you, contact a Divorce Attorney Austin at 512-400-7070 or send us a message. We will schedule an initial client consultation to review your case details and lay out a game plan for your divorce in Texas. AZ Law Firm will pursue the legal action necessary to secure the fairest possible divorce for you and your loved ones.
- evaluating and explaining to you the pros and cons of your individual case
- discussing with you any available options and our proposed strategies as it relates to your case
- providing guidance and recommendations regarding any proposed settlement offer
- quickly and effectively communicating with you during each step of the process so that you are not left in the dark
- taking your case solely on a contingent fee basis
- and aggressively protecting and defending your rights
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Accordingly, the attorneys at AZ Law Firm will always provide you with a free initial consultation. During this initial consultation, one of our Divorce Attorney Austin will evaluate your case, inform you of any legal options that may be available, and allow you to ask any questions that you may have. AZ Law Firm offers affordable rates for all our clients and will work with you on payment plans. Our firm accepts checks, debit cards, and most major credit cards to cover the costs of your legal representation.