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At the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, we understand that substance abuse and addiction happen. If you have gotten caught up in a situation where this is the case, it does not mean you are a bad person or a bad parent. It does, however, mean that there is an increased risk of Child Protective Services (CPS) coming to your home and investigating whether or not your home is safe for your child.
What CPS Can and Cannot Do
The role of CPS is to ensure the safety and well-being of Texas families and specifically in regards to children. The majority of Texas families will never deal with CPS, but when they come it can be a frightening thing. The remainder of this piece will focus on how CPS can and will interact with a family when there are allegations, true or not, that a substance abuse issue is negatively affecting a child’s life.
CPS is duty bound to intervene when they are called about a situation where a parent or legal guardian is endangering a child because of a substance abuse issue. Even if the allegations are false and reported with malicious intent, CPS will investigate. These calls come in anonymously and must be followed up. If you are the parent who was reported, CPS will not get involved in your attempts to get well. They are solely interested in ensuring the safety and well-being of your child.
You are probably wondering, especially if CPS has visited your home, “Can CPS take my child from my home?” The answer is yes. If, after further investigation, CPS finds that your child is in danger, they can and will remove your child from your home. While their goal is to do what is best for the child, when a child is in immediate danger, the best thing to do is to remove them from the situation.
What to do When CPS Takes Your Child
The first thing to do is to hire an attorney who is well-versed and experienced in working with CPS and keeping families together. Bryan Fagan and his associates can help, but whoever you choose make sure they are experts in family law.
The second thing that you do is that you continue to meet with CPS representatives and caseworkers. Begin attending meetings with “aaa drink cps” that show your willingness and desire to discontinue the behavior that led CPS to take your child away. Even if you cannot prove everything at once, continue and marked improvement is important.
CPS will continue to engage with you in a respectful and patient manner as the parent. Their hope and their goal is to get the child back into your home, so treat them with the respect and patience that they need as well.
While CPS continues to communicate with you, they will simultaneously engage with your child as well. CPS will have licensed social workers that speak with your child and can gauge every relevant issue including but not limited to their age, mental development, and trauma level. It is important for them to get to know your child and to see how your substance abuse has affected them.
Throughout this process, make sure that you have legal representation for yourself. Your attorney will be the person who leads and guides you through this difficult time and gives legal advice that will allow you to get your child back as quickly as possible.