Child Protective Services Cases in Wichita Falls
Child Protective Services (CPS) cases in Texas involve the investigation of allegations of child abuse or neglect. The goal of CPS is to ensure the safety and well-being of children and to provide support and services to families to prevent future abuse or neglect.
Initial CPS Investigation – When CPS receives a report of abuse or neglect, they will initiate an investigation to determine whether the allegations are founded. During this investigation, CPS may interview the child, the parents or caregivers, and other individuals who may have information relevant to the case. They may also conduct a home visit and gather any relevant medical or educational records. Occasionally, a CPS investigator may threaten a parent with removal if they do not cooperate with the investigation. A CPS investigator typically has 30 days to decide how to dispose of an allegation. Generally, allegations will be disposed of as either Reason to Believe (RTB), Unable to Determine (UTD), or Ruled Out (RO).
If the investigator makes a RTB finding, then he or she believes the abuse or neglect occurred. A UO finding means the investigator determines that the reported abuse or neglect did occur but there is not enough evidence to support this determination. Finally, a RO determination means that the reported abuse or neglected did not occur or if the alleged perpetrator of the reported abuse or neglect is younger than 9 years of age.
CPS Removal – If CPS determines that a child is in danger, they may remove the child from the home and place them in a safe environment, such as with a relative or in foster care. CPS may also provide services to the family to address any issues that led to the abuse or neglect and to prevent future incidents.
It is important to note that CPS has the authority to remove a child from their home without a court order in emergency situations where there is a risk of immediate harm to the child. However, within 24 hours of the removal, a court hearing must be held to determine whether the removal was necessary and whether the child should remain in the care of CPS.
If CPS decides to file a lawsuit to terminate the parent-child relationship, the parent has the right to legal representation and the opportunity to challenge the allegations in court. The court will consider the best interests of the child when making a decision about the case. However, as a general rule seeking representation sooner rather than later is preferable.
If you or a loved one are subject to a CPS investigation, call our office today
Scott Stillson has extensive experience in handling CPS cases, including trying the case to a jury, as well as on appeal up to the Texas Supreme Court. We understand how frustrating it is to have CPS question your ability to parent, and attempt to overstep their bounds. If you have been targeted by CPS, call our office today for a free phone consultation.
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