It can be overwhelming for a parent to answer the door and find a Child Protective Services (CPS) investigator standing there, notifying them of a complaint alleging neglect or abuse of their children. At Garrity Traina, we are here to support you if CPS contacts you regarding such allegations.
Understanding CPS Complaints
CPS, a division of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, is responsible for investigating any reports of suspected child abuse or neglect. Certain professionals, including healthcare workers, teachers, attorneys, and clergy, are legally required to report their suspicions within 48 hours to maintain their professional licenses.
It is crucial to note that CPS investigations are initiated based on “suspicion.” When CPS receives a complaint, an investigation is launched. As part of their fact-finding process, CPS workers may conduct interviews with the following individuals:
- The parents and children in the home.
- The children at school without the parents’ knowledge.
- The children’s schoolteachers, friends, parents of friends, stepparents, siblings, grandparents, other relatives, neighbors, and anyone who may have relevant information, as determined by the investigator.
We advise parents who are contacted by CPS to attentively listen to the investigator. CPS workers have the authority to:
- Request the removal of children from the home. If you consent, CPS can take the children without a court order.
- Work with you to arrange temporary care by a family member.
- Remove the children from the home if immediate danger is suspected. If CPS takes this action without your consent, a judge must approve it within three days.
- Leave the children in the home while working with the parents to improve the situation.
How Garrity Traina Can Provide Assistance
Parents who are under investigation for child abuse or neglect have the right to consult with an attorney at any stage of the investigation. We firmly believe that it is in the best interest of parents to engage a CPS defense attorney as soon as they are approached by a CPS worker. It is especially crucial to contact an attorney before granting consent for the removal of your children. At the very least, parents should seek legal counsel if CPS indicates they will file a lawsuit to obtain custody of the children. An attorney can guide parents through the process and provide insight into what lies ahead.
Our Role in CPS Cases
At Garrity Traina, we diligently defend parents involved in CPS cases. We provide comprehensive support by:
- Attending all hearings, including the initial emergency hearing.
- Assisting parents in regaining custody of their children if CPS has already removed them from the home.
- Collecting all relevant documents and any exculpatory evidence available.
- Obtaining complete disclosure of the evidence CPS intends to present in court.
- Securing witness statements from individuals who support the parents and can challenge the allegations.
- Ensuring parents have access to CPS services such as parenting courses to facilitate the children’s return.
- Advising parents on the particulars of supervised visitation if their children are removed from the home.
- Assisting parents in fulfilling CPS requirements such as random drug testing or additional psychological services.
When it comes to courtroom proceedings, we present all evidence to the judge, illustrating the parents’ commitment to creating a safe and stable environment for their children.
At Garrity Traina, we are dedicated to helping parents navigate the challenging CPS system. We work collaboratively with parents, striving to convince the court that the best interests of the children are met by either leaving them in or returning them to their parental home.
For more than 20 years of experience in family law matters, trust Garrity Traina to assist you. Contact us now for a free 20-minute consultation at 832-215-3706.
Garrity Traina is committed to guiding clients through complex family law and divorce issues. We serve clients in The Woodlands, Conroe, Montgomery County, Houston, Harris County, and throughout the surrounding area. Reach out to Garrity Traina Law Firm today and benefit from our extensive experience in family law to ensure you receive a fair resolution.