Allegations of child abuse and/or child neglect are also taken very seriously in Texas. State agencies are responsible for taking, investigating, and handling allegations of abuse and neglect. You may have heard about agencies like the Child Protective Services (CPS) and the Texas Department of Family Protective Services (DFPS). In this article, our San Antonio CPS defense lawyer explains the most important things to know about the differences between CPS and DFPS in Texas.
The Fundamental Difference: CPS is a Part of DFPS
In Texas, when we talk about child safety and family services, two important organizations come up: Child Protective Services (CPS) and the Texas Department of Family Protective Services (DFPS). It is easy to get confused between them, but there is a simple way to understand their roles.
You can think of DFPS as the big umbrella. It is the main state agency that looks after the safety and well-being of children, adults, and families in Texas. Under this umbrella, there are different groups that focus on specific areas. One of these groups is CPS.
CPS is a part of DFPS. Its main job is to make sure children are safe. If there is a worry that a child might be harmed or not taken care of properly, CPS steps in. They check on the child’s situation and work to solve any problems. Whole DFPS looks after a wide range of family and safety issues, CPS focuses solely on children’s safety.
Three Steps to Take if You are Facing a DFPS/CPS Investigation in San Antonio, TX
If you find yourself facing a DFPS/CPS investigation in San Antonio, it is imperative that you take proactive measures to protect your rights and your interests. Here are three vital steps to take:
- Stay Calm and Cooperate: First and foremost, stay calm. It is important to cooperate with CPS. Be willing to be open and honest during interviews. Remember, their main goal is to ensure the safety and well-being of children. You do not want to be highly aggressive or adversarial with CPS.
- Understand Your Rights: In Texas, parents have certain rights during a CPS investigation. For example, you have the right to know the allegations against you. You can also have a lawyer present during interviews. You should always have an attorney on your side.
- Seek Legal Advice: Do not go it alone. While you do not want to be adversarial with CPS, you also need to remember that they are not focused on protecting your parental rights. A top-tier attorney will stay on your side every step of the way. Your attorney can guide you through the legal aspects of the investigation.
Speak to Our San Antonio CPS Defense Attorney Today
At Hoelscher Gebbia Cepeda, PLLC, our San Antonio CPS defense lawyer is standing by, ready to protect your rights and your interests. Have questions about the difference between CPS and DFPS? Contact us today for your completely confidential initial consultation. With a law office in San Antonio, we provide CPS defense services in Bexar County and throughout the region.