Being investigated by Child Protective Services (CPS) is always stressful and traumatizing. After all, you risk having your child removed from your home during a CPS case.
Many parents do not understand their rights when going through a CPS case, and caseworkers often take advantage of that. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for parents to be deceived, misled, or lied to by CPS caseworkers.
For this reason, the best thing you can do to protect your rights and the safety of your child is to talk to an experienced attorney. At The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard, our Lampasas Child Protective Services attorney is committed to helping clients through CPS cases.
Below, we will discuss how you can protect your rights during a Child Protective Services case in Texas.
Communicate with the CPS Caseworker Assigned to Your Case
Keeping in touch with the caseworker assigned to your Child Protective Services case is very important. The last thing you need is a misunderstanding or lack of communication when you are already at risk of losing your children.
It is critical to communicate with the CPS caseworker to understand what the agency wants you to do to bring your children back home and have your CPS case closed.
You have a right to ask the CPS caseworker to explain the steps you must take to return your children.
Complete All Necessary Steps in Your CPS Case
If CPS ordered you to complete specific steps to get your children back or close your case, you should do everything the agency says. Often, Child Protective Services orders parents to undergo drug rehabilitation or attend anger management classes.
When completing the necessary steps in your CPS case, keep the caseworker up to date with the progress.
Follow the Judge’s Instructions in Your CPS Case
At a court hearing, the judge may issue court orders instructing you to take specific steps. It is vital to follow the judge’s instructions to secure a favorable outcome in your CPS case.
By complying with court orders and the judge’s instructions, you show CPS that you are willing to participate in the process to get your children back home.
Just because your children were taken away from you does not mean that you should stop caring for them. On the contrary, your children need you more than ever before.
Having your children removed from you is a stressful and frustrating experience for any parent, but think about how your children feel about that. Your child is scared because they are miles away from home and surrounded by strangers.
Contrary to popular, CPS cannot prevent you from seeing your children or spending time with them. You still have a right to visit your kids even after Child Protective Services have removed your children from your home.
It is critical to contact a knowledgeable CPS attorney to help you work out a visitation schedule with Child Protective Services.
Inform the CPS Caseworker of Your Child’s Needs
Just because CPS has temporary custody of your child does not mean that you cannot protect your child’s safety and well-being. It is very important to inform the CPS caseworker assigned to your case of your child’s needs and provide any information that would help care for your child. Such information may include:
- Does your child have a medical condition that requires him or her to take certain medications or receive medical care?
- Are there any dietary restrictions CPS should be aware of?
- How should a CPS caseworker address your child’s educational needs?
Many parents assume that CPS is aware of all the children’s needs. While it is CPS’s job to take good care of children in the agency’s temporary custody, it is still crucial to take proactive steps to inform a caseworker of your child’s needs.
You Have a Right to Know What’s Going on in Your CPS Case
Child Protective Services has an obligation to inform parents of any court dates, hearings, and other matters during a CPS case. The agency must inform you when:
- The agency is investigating you. CPS should also explain why it got involved (e.g., after receiving complaints of child abuse);
- A CPS caseworker has met and communicated with your children;
- The investigation is complete, and a CPS case is closed; and
- A court or hearing date has been scheduled in your CPS case.
Unfortunately, CPS caseworkers do not always demonstrate respect for parents’ rights during investigations. For this reason, it is vital to be represented by a skilled CPS attorney to protect your rights and understand what is going on in your CPS case.
Why You Need an Attorney During a CPS Case
Being investigated by Child Protective Services is one of the most intimidating and frustrating things a parent can experience in their life.
However, you do not have to go through this alone. Your Lampasas Child Protective Services attorney will stand up for your rights and ensure that CPS handles your case fairly. With so much potentially at stake, having an attorney to represent your interests and rights during a CPS case is of paramount importance.
Do not expect CPS caseworkers to explain your rights to you. Your lawyer is the only person who is willing to fight for your rights and help you keep your family together.
Remember: If you decide to hire an attorney during a CPS case, you should be 100% honest. The more your attorney knows, the better. Your lawyer will not judge you; they need all relevant information to effectively represent you during your CPS case. Hiding important information from your lawyer could hurt your case because the truth will come out sooner or later.