When a child is abused or neglected, the perpetrator can be reported to CPS. Our family lawyer explains who can make these reports, and what happens afterward.
The state of Texas requires all residents to report suspected child neglect or abuse. When an instance of child neglect or abuse is reported to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS), Child Protective Services (CPS) will become involved. Generally speaking, some of the responsibilities of CPS include in-home services to families, which include family-based safety services, foster care placement for children, and providing services to assist children in foster care transition successfully to adulthood.
Child Protective Investigations
After an instance of child neglect or abuse is made to the DFPS, an investigation will be conducted by Child Protective Investigations (CPI). The role of the CPI is to determine if a child has been neglected or abused and to identify any threats to a child’s safety in the home. When an investigator of the CPI determines that a child is unsafe, they will start protective services with CPS.
During an investigation conducted by the CPI, an investigator may interview relatives and other people who have knowledge about the situation. The people who are interviewed in these cases include the parents, the child, teachers, doctors, care providers, relatives, friends of the family, and neighbors. The investigator will also visit the family home where the child lives. The goal of the investigator is to obtain an overall view of the situation to determine if there is any merit to the report.
What Will Happen After the Investigation?
If a report is deemed not to be credible, the case is dismissed. The parents, primary caregiver, or anyone else accused will receive notice of the dismissal in the mail.
If the CPS deems a report to be credible, there are many ways they may proceed. The action taken next will depend on the circumstances involved. For example, the CPS may start with family-based safety services (FBSS). These services are meant to ensure a child is safe in the home or return the child to the home if they have been removed. CPS may also offer other in-home services to help prevent further neglect or abuse.
When a case is very serious, CPS can remove the child immediately from the home. Sometimes, they may have to first request removal from the court.
Our Family Lawyer in San Antonio Can Help After a Report
Learning that a report of child neglect or abuse has been filed against you is very scary. You may worry about the future of your family and whether your child will be taken from you. At Hoelscher Gebbia Cepeda, PLLC, our San Antonio family lawyer can help you through the investigation, provide the legal advice you need, and give you and your family the best chance of a positive outcome. Call us now at (210) 222-9132 or contact us online to request a consultation and to learn more about how we can help with your case.