CPS Taking the Child and Subsequent Hearings

CPS Taking the Child After CPS Investigation

In our recent Wichita Falls Family Law Podcast, Attorney Richard Sutherland explained the key elements and purpose of Child Protective Services (CPS) in Texas and what to do when CPS calls. Use this link to listen to: What to Do When Child Protective Services Calls.

In this follow-up episode we learn what options CPS uses to remove the child from the home in an emergency with or without a court order. Attorney Sutherland also talks about the CPS adversary hearing, the service plan, the status hearing, permanency hearings and the final dismissal.

CPS Taking the Child
CPS Taking the Child and Subsequent Hearings Require an Experienced Family Law Attorney. Call Richard Sutherland in Wichita Falls, Texas at (940) 691-2100.

The Initial CPS Hearing

After CPS completes its investigation it may remove the child from the home if it is warranted. CPS can take possession of a child in an emergency with or without a court order based on the child’s health and safety.

CPS can also seek an emergency order from the court authorizing possession of the child if there is an immediate danger to the health of safety of the child. In certain circumstances CPS taking the child without a court order is allowed in an emergency, which Attorney Sutherland explains.

Learn about the CPS child removal and hearing sequence in this podcast. The first step is an initial hearing following CPS taking the child in an emergency without a court order.

There are limits on the reasons CPS can take a child into its possession including issues involving: homeschooling; economic disadvantage; parent charged with nonviolent misdemeanor (with two exceptions); parent charged with family violence; parent declined to have the child immunized; parent provided low THC cannabis to child to whom low THC cannabis was prescribed.

You may also be interested in our podcast, Children Adjusting to School.

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For a list of several popular podcasts please see, Divorce and Family Law Explained by Richard Sutherland in Wichita Falls, Texas.

The Full Adversary CPS Hearing

Unless the child has already been to returned to the parent or person entitled to possession and the temporary order is dissolved, then a full adversary hearing must be held no later than the 14th day the child is taken into possession. Under some circumstances the deadline could be extended.

Questions before the court in a suit where there was an emergency removal:

  • Is there a danger to the physical health and safety of the child;
  • Is the child in danger of becoming a victim of trafficking;
  • Where these the acts or failure to act of a person entitled to possession and would leaving the child in the home be contrary to the child’s welfare?
  • Did the urgent need for protection require the immediate removal of the child?
  • Were reasonable efforts made consistent with the circumstances and providing for the safety of the child, to eliminate or prevent the child’s removal?

CPS Suit Where the Child Was Not Taken into Possession by the Department              

The court issues a temporary order to prevent continuing danger to the child with reasonable efforts to provide for the child’s safety, including taking the child from the custodial parent, non-custodial parent or relative, unless it is not in the child’s best interests.

The temporary orders date applies to next steps. CPS is appointed as a temporary managing conservator of the child. CPS prepares a service plan for the parents within 45 days of the temporary orders. The service plan explains what the parents must do to get their child back. The service plan can be amended at any time.

A status hearing comes next,within 60 days after the temporary orders, so the child’s status and service plan may be reviewed. Not later than 180 days there is a permanency hearing,subsequent permanency hearing no later than 120 days following.

The CPS suit dismissal occurs the first Monday after the first anniversary of the date the court renders the temporary order unless the court has commenced a trial on the merits.

Important Takeaways:

  • The purpose and idea behind the CPS process for taking the child, is to reunite the child with the custodial parent except where that would not be in the child’s best interest.
  • The procedure and system of hearings and steps along the way is complicated and an experienced family law attorney should be retained to assist in a custodial parent being reunited with their child after CPS removal.

Richard T. Sutherland is an experienced Wichita Falls, Texas divorce and family law and child custody attorney. In a situation where CPS taking a child into custody is your concern, call us at (940) 691-2100 or contact us through our website.

What to Do When Child Protective Services Calls

What to Do When Child Protective Services Calls: A Wichita Falls Family Law Podcast with Richard T. Sutherland
What to Do When Child Protective Services Calls: A Wichita Falls Family Law Podcast with Richard T. Sutherland (940) 691-2100.

Who is Child Protective Services and What is its Purpose?

This month’s Wichita Falls Family Law Podcast with Richard Sutherland focuses on Child Protective Services (CPS) and provides an overview of key elements of the purpose of the agency and what to do when Child Protective Services calls.

Questions Answered in this Child Protective Services Podcast

  • What is Child Protective Services?
  • What is the purpose of CPS?
  • What is meant by the word, “abuse” and what is “neglect?”
  • What is the general process of CPS reporting?
  • What is involved in the investigation process?
  • Why people hire attorneys and how they represent parents in CPS cases?


Highlights of this CPS Overview Podcast

About Child Protective Services: CPS is a division of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, the agency investigating reports of abused or neglected children in Texas. There are 13 categories of what constitutes abuse and four categories for neglect under Texas law. Note that accidents and reasonable discipline not exposing the child to the risk of substantial harm are excluded from the definition of abuse in Texas.

Who makes CPS reports? The Texas Family Code requires any person having cause to believe that a child’s physical or mental health or welfare has been adversely affected by abuse or neglect SHALL IMMEDIATELY MAKE A REPORT. This requirement includes people with whom certain communications are otherwise privileged such as:

  • Lawyers;
  • Clergy;
  • Medical Practitioners
  • Social Workers
  • Mental Health Professionals
  • Employees or members of boards that license or certify professionals;
  • Employees of clinics or health care facilities that provide reproductive services.

About the CPS Report: The report should include the reporting party’s belief that a child has been abused or neglected or who has died of abuse or neglect, and the report can be made to law enforcement, CPS or state agencies regulating a facility where alleged abuse or neglect occurred. The reports contain the name and address of the child and other persons responsible for the care of the child and other pertinent information.

About the CPS Investigation Process: Being prepared in the event CPS or law enforcement contacts you about a report of abuse or neglect is important. Contacting an attorney is advisable and it does not mean you look guilty. There are a variety of steps involved in a CPS investigation and interviews of the child may take place at school or at home, including persons CPS determines are necessary to be present.

Important Takeaways: A CPS complaint can arise in a variety of settings such as one spouse in a divorce making complaints of the other to try and improve their chances of getting sole custody or a larger share of the marital estate. There is protection for people who are wrongfully accused. CPS is duty bound to investigate all complaints to protect the interests of children. Being organized and having an experienced family law attorney is important.  

In the next podcast in this series we will talk about suits brought by governmental entities to protect the child.

Richard T. Sutherland is an experienced Wichita Falls, Texas divorce and family law attorney. If you need to learn more about what to do when Child Protective Services calls, or any other matter involving the best interests of and care of children, call us at (940) 691-2100 or contact us through our website.