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Does a Child Protective Services (CPS) Investigation Mean You Lose Your Children?

While Child Protective Services (CPS) makes the children’s safety their priority, it also works with parents to help them correct abuse or neglect and find constructive ways to discipline children when needed.

What is a CPS investigation?

The purpose of a CPS investigation is to find out whether a report of child abuse or neglect has any factual basis. Based on the information gathered from the investigation, caseworkers decide whether:

  • Abuse or neglect existed
  • The child or children are safe
  • There is risk of further abuse or neglect

When caseworkers decide that a child is not safe, they must determine:

  • Whether removing the child from the home is necessary
  • Whether the parent needs treatment services to reduce the likelihood of future abuse or neglect

According to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, caseworkers complete CPS investigations within about 30 days. That is an optimistic requirhttps://www.dfps.state.tx.us/child_protection/about_child_protective_services/parentguide.aspement. It often takes quite a bit longer than 30 days.   Investigations involve the caseworker interviewing the child (must be audio or videotaped). The caseworker may interview other children in the home, anyone with information about the allegations, and any other persons alleged to have abused or neglected the child.  The caseworker relays the information and listens to the accused party’s explanations. Instead of removing a child from the home, the caseworker may recommend a family team meeting where parents, the family, friends, and others meet, discuss the situation, and decide how they can keep a child safe.  The caseworker may have the party accused of negligence or abuse devise a safety plan, which outlines actions to take to keep a child safe.

Parties accused of neglect and abuse can always consult a Texas family law attorney for advice and to protect their rights. Remember, any statement that you make to a CPS worker or anyone else is admissible in a criminal prosecution.  It is best to contact a Texas family law attorney or a criminal law attorney, before making any statement to a CPS investigator or anyone else if there is the possibility of criminal prosecution.  You must protect your constitutional rights.

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Robert Reid McInvale
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Robert Reid McInvale is an experienced family law attorney with a comprehensive practice in Houston. He provides dedicated and strong advocacy for his clients, helping them with all the issues surrounding their divorce, separation, child custody, and other marriage and family matters. Attorney McInvale—Reid to clients and friends—seemed destined for a law career. Born while his father was attending Emory University Law School, Reid grew up in Manchester, GA. His father was the city attorney for many years, as well as head of the Manchester Chamber of Commerce. It is in the family blood to become lawyers and help people get justice. U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall is part of the McInvale family tree.

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