When Child Protective Services (CPS) gets involved in your family’s business, it’s not a good thing. CPS only steps in when some form of child abuse or neglect has been suspected and reported. Sometimes the allegations are legitimate, while many times, they are illegitimate.
Unfortunately, all CPS reports must be investigated — no matter whether the allegations are false. This will lead to a case being opened. If you know that the allegations are false and you want to know how to get your CPS case closed for good, then read on for more information.
What is CPS?
In Texas, Child Protective Services is a mandated agency that conducts investigations into reported child abuse. The agency also provides services to families or children where neglect has occurred or might occur.
CPS works with a variety of agencies, local community services, and law enforcement agencies. Their primary mission, first and foremost, is to protect children. This is done using several methods:
- Act to assess any allegations concerning the safety of children
- Immediately step in to protect children if there is proof of child neglect or abuse
- Making sure that families can properly look after their children
- Provide a safe living alternative for children until such time they can be reunited with their original family members
While the intent of CPS is noble, they do not always get it right. That’s why you need to be aware of the tactics that could lead to CPS opening an investigation into your family.
Why Would CPS Open an Investigation?
CPS will open an investigation for a variety of reasons, including some but not all reasons listed below:
- Most noticeably, if there’s an allegation of child abuse
- Child neglect is another major reason CPS would have to step in
- Economic circumstances where a family cannot afford to provide the child with resources
- In cases where the parent or parents wish to revoke their custodial rights
- Allegations of drug abuse or incarceration of one or both parents
If this doesn’t sound like your situation, you may be wondering why CPS would continue to investigate your family. Unfortunately, this is where many parents start losing the battle by taking missteps in their attempt to defend their family.
Is There a Reason for CPS to Continue an Investigation?
CPS will only initiate an additional investigation if it’s warranted. In other words, if you give CPS a reason to return, they most certainly will. Keep in mind that it is up to you to make sure your affairs are in order — this has nothing to do with your caseworker. If you give CPS no reason to return, then they won’t. Several factors can trigger consecutive investigations:
– The child’s mental state at the time of the conclusion of the first investigation. If your child suffers from an emotional or physical problem, then CPS will perform follow-ups as needed to see if the problem gets any worse. Some examples could be if the child is becoming increasingly violent or if the child is taking their anger out on someone else.
– The presence of domestic violence. CPS will always continue investigations in these types of cases. If you are the victim of the abuse and cannot reasonably protect your child, expect multiple visits and investigations.
– Drug and or alcohol abuse. If your family was reported to CPS due to a drug and or alcohol problem, you’d better believe CPS will be back. This is the perfect time to figure out what you really want to do concerning the child’s welfare.
– A perception of continued child neglect. Suppose the child appears to be mistreated or not provided for mentally or physically during the first investigation. In that case, CPS is obligated to check on them until they are satisfied the child is doing well.
What Is the Legal Process for CPS in Texas?
CPS will normally act depending on how severe the allegation is. Allegations can be investigated as early as within 24 hours, depending on the situation. CPS goes by their Top 3 priorities:
- Priority 1 (P1) — considered a high-risk situation that needs to be addressed within 24 hours.
- Priority 2 (P2) — includes all other allegations that need to be addressed within 72 hours.
- Priority None (PN) — not considered for investigation if certain criteria apply, such as no risk to the child.
These priorities can be changed at any time during the investigation. That’s why I recommend seeking a legal expert immediately, no matter the level of investigation, because CPS could elevate the priority of your case.
When the investigation is complete, CPS will determine if any further action is required. A child can be temporarily or permanently removed from the home if it is in the child’s best interests. You want to avoid this result, which is why it’s best to work with a family law attorney to help protect your parental rights throughout the investigation.
Get Your CPS Cased Closed in Texas
My legal specialty is family law. Over the past decade, I have helped families across Fort Bend County, Brazoria County, and Harris County get CPS out of their lives. I’m well aware of how CPS works and what it takes to get your CPS case closed the first time.
I will defend you and your family vigorously using my vast knowledge of Texas law and the experience that can only come from seeing how CPS uses certain tactics to go after parents.
You don’t have to go at it alone! Call my offices at 281-944-5485 or 979-267-7660 to discuss your CPS case and the overall situation. Let’s work together to arrive at the best possible outcome for you and your family.