This is from the Department of Family Protective Services website:
What is Child Protective Services?
The CPS program investigates allegations of child abuse and neglect by parents or other family or household members.
If needed, CPS may refer parents to services for help. These services may help them solve their problems and learn how to care for and discipline their children in ways that do not harm them or put them at risk of abuse or neglect. These services may include counseling, day care, homemaker services, evaluation, treatment, and parenting classes.
CPS caseworkers have identification cards. Ask to see your caseworker's DFPS identification card if you want to know if they really work for CPS.
Why is CPS visiting my family?
State law requires anybody who believes that a child has been abused or neglected to make a report to the Child Protective Services (CPS) program of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services or to a law enforcement agency. The law requires CPS to investigate these reports to protect children.
What does CPS do in a child abuse or neglect investigation?
When investigating a report, a caseworker:
- Interviews the child that may have been abused or neglected. The interview with the child must be audio taped or videotaped. The interview may be held at any reasonable time and place, including at school.
- Makes a reasonable effort to tell you of any interviews and the nature of the allegations within 24 hours after an interview has taken place.
- Discusses the report with you to get an explanation of any injuries, safety concerns, or risk of abuse or neglect to the child.
- Gets criminal history information about people alleged to have abused or neglected your child.
As necessary, the caseworker may also:
- Interview other children in the home.
- Visually examine children in the home for signs of physical abuse or neglect.
- Interview any other person alleged to have abused or neglected your child.
- Interview anyone with information about the situation, including those who can verify explanations of the harm to your child.
- Ask for access to mental health records on your child, yourself, or people alleged to have abused or neglected your child.
- Ask for a medical, psychological, or psychiatric examination of you or your child if it is needed to find out if abuse or neglect has occurred or if there is a risk of abuse or neglect.
- Visit the child's home.
If necessary, CPS can seek a court order giving your caseworker permission to talk to or examine your children, visit your home, or get health records.
Will CPS talk to law enforcement about my case?
The law requires CPS to tell law enforcement agencies about all reports of alleged abuse or neglect. The law enforcement agency decides whether to do a criminal investigation. This is separate from the CPS investigation. You can contact the local law enforcement agency to ask about a criminal investigation.
You can also contact local law enforcement if you feel that someone has made a false report against you.
How long does it take to complete the investigation?
Your caseworker normally completes the investigation in 30 days.
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