CPS cases involve an entire body of child welfare law governed by state laws as well as federal laws. The most costly mistake I see in all my practice is lawyers who apply general law or family law principals to child welfare, and such an approach can cost the client very dearly. No matter if you are the parent defending against accusations or if you are the adult who wants to be the caregiver for the children in the stead of the parent, then you must hire a lawyer well versed in child welfare law in order to do more than survive a child welfare case.
Defending Against Child Protective Services Accusations
Some critical turning points in the case when representation might be sought include:
Investigation stage—when a referral has been made and CPS is investigating the allegations, you have the right to have representation. Do you know whether your child is being interviewed at school? Whether the interview is being recorded? Whether you have the right to refuse an interview? What the consequences are of not cooperating in an investigation?
Having Child Protective Services open an investigation into your life or that of a loved one can be stressful and confusing. Caseworkers may come to your home and question your parenting based on allegations of abuse, neglect or endangerment. Such accusations can be dangerously serious. Not fully understanding your rights in this situation puts you at a significant disadvantage and may jeopardize the sanctity of your family. That’s why it is imperative that you work with an experienced Austin CPS child welfare attorney to protect your rights. Karen Wang, Attorney at Law, defends Texas families against the overwhelming bureaucratic and complex legal issues surrounding child welfare cases.
Child Protective Services was created to serve the best interests of children. When the agency receives a complaint and opens an investigation, deciding what is best for the child is often unclear. Case workers tend to err on the side of caution and move forward quickly rather than exercise restraint. Although they may have good intentions, removing a child from his or her home, subjecting a family to public scrutiny and dragging them through the court system can be detrimental to a family on many levels.
Answering a lawsuit—When Child Protective Services removes a child from the home because they have obtained a court order permitting it, you have no time to lose in mounting a legal defense to regain your parental right of possession..
If your child has been taken into the state’s protection, you will have an opportunity to be heard at a hearing within days. This presents an opportunity to have a judge consider your side of the issue and regain custody. It is vital that you have an experienced Austin CPS child welfare attorney to negotiate with officials or make a compelling argument in front of a judge.
CPS investigations and cases generally take a long time to resolve and no one wants their family separated for a single day longer than is absolutely necessary. Every day that your child remains under state supervision is a day that erodes your parental rights and poses a danger they could be placed in foster care. If you are the subject of a Child Protective Services investigation, call the office of Karen Wang, Attorney at Law, today.
Other parties to a Child Protective Services case:
Foster parents. Foster parents provide a safe, family atmosphere and nurture children until they can be reunited with the parents, when no appropriate family members have been identified. Sometimes, however, it becomes necessary for the foster family to adopt the child or become permanent placement for the child. Unfortunately sometimes foster families misplace faith that CPS and the other child advocates will place the child with the foster parents, and in the 11th hour the child is removed from the foster home and placed in the home of a long lost family member whom the child has never met.
Sometimes, the foster family wants to know what is occurring in the confidential CPS case. Sometimes, when the foster family wants to weigh the options of whether to “intervene” they need an experienced lawyer who can educate them in negotiating benefits for the caregiver and child such as monthly financial assistance, free college tuition, and medical coverage. Sometimes, the foster family wants to assist the parents in reuniting with the child, but want some legal connection to the child for various reasons.