Child Protective Services Investigations
Houston CPS Investigations Lawyer :: The Law Office of Matthew D. Sharp
When a Texas resident becomes the subject of a Child Protective Services (CPS) investigation, it’s difficult to know how to respond. Literally anyone can contact CPS to accuse a parent of child abuse behaviors. No one wants to be labeled as a child abuser or lose their children. A certified Child Protective Services investigations lawyer knows how to monitor an ongoing CPS investigation and protect the legal rights of parents.
What is CPS?
CPS is a division of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS). CPS is required to investigate every instance of alleged child abuse, even if the allegation is completely false. False reports of child abuse are quite common during divorce and child custody disputes. Any of the following circumstances can initiate the involvement of CPS:
- Physical, emotional or sexual abuse of a child
- Child neglect
- Child exploitation
- Child abandonment
- Child endangerment
- Temporary removal or protective orders
Inspections by the Department of Family and Protective Services
The mandate of CPS is to protect the health and well-being of children. When CPS officials receive a report of possible child abuse, a worker is immediately assigned to the case. The CPS case worker will interview and visually inspect the child. The interview and examination may occur at any reasonable place or time. The case worker is allowed to transport the child to conduct the interview, and the child’s parents must be notified of the CPS investigation within 24 hours.
When a parent receives official notification of a CPS investigation, they have the right to ask the case worker to produce a state-issued identification card. The parent will also be provided with the case worker’s contact information. The case worker is not permitted to share the name of the individual who filed the child abuse report.
A Child Protective Services case worker has the power to access criminal and mental health records for anyone who is alleged to have abused a child. Moreover, the CPS investigator is entitled to speak with other children living in the home or anyone who might have information about the alleged child abuse. If necessary, the child who is alleged to have been abused can be referred to a medical or mental health professional.
Understanding CPS Investigations
Child Protective Services (CPS), a branch of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, has a duty to protect children. An allegation of child abuse can ultimately result in a determination that the child’s family is unfit to care for him or her.
A CPS investigation is an extremely serious situation. It may lead to the involvement of state and local authorities. If you’re under criminal investigation by CPS, the decision to consult with a Houston child sex abuse attorney can make a difference in the outcome of your case.
Realize that any statement you make to CPS can and will be used against you if the agency decides to file criminal charges. The reason for a CPS investigation may include:
- Alcohol, drug, emotional, sexual or physical abuse
- Child neglect
- Child abandonment
- Unlocked firearms
- Unsafe living conditions
- Absence of medical care
Talk to a CPS Investigations Attorney in Houston
If you need representation in a CPS matter that doesn’t involve criminal charges, consult a reputable family lawyer.
Contact Houton CPS investigations lawyer Matthew D. Sharp now if you’re facing a CPS investigation that involves a charge of alcohol, drug, emotional, sexual or physical abuse of a child.