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CPS Removals in Harris County: How to Get Your Child Home

Published: May 22, 2020 in Child Sex Crimes, Criminal Defense, Sex Crimes Involving Children

The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (TDFPS) is tasked with monitoring the safety and welfare of children throughout the state and protecting parents’ rights. This often means investigating allegations of abuse and neglect and working with parents to provide safe environments.

Unfortunately, TDFPS is not infallible and CPS investigations can go too far. Children are sometimes unlawfully removed from safe homes. This can mean having to prove your qualifications as a parent, and an experienced lawyer can often be the difference in getting your child home as soon as possible.

If CPS has taken or is threatening to remove your children, contact a defense attorney right away. Let us explain your parental rights, your option for getting your child back, and how we can make the process go as smoothly as possible.

Call (713) 222-6767 for a free consultation.

Grounds for CPS to Remove Children

CPS should only remove children from their homes when it is necessary to protect them from abuse or neglect.

Children are removed in two ways: With a court order obtained by CPS prior to removal or with a court order obtained following an emergency removal.

An emergency removal is not preferred and is only acceptable in certain circumstances. CPS can immediately take children without a court order only if:

  • There is a present and immediate threat of physical or sexual abuse.
  • Leaving the children in the home is not safe or best for the children’s welfare.
  • CPS made reasonable efforts to prevent or eliminate the need for removal.

The Court Reviews All Removals

For a CPS emergency removal to be lawful, the organization must still obtain a court order. Any immediate emergency removal without a court order must be reviewed by the court the next business day.

If the emergency hearing cannot take place within three working days, CPS must return the child.

CPS must provide sufficient proof that an emergency removal was necessary and that the child should remain in the state’s care. For the court to uphold the removal, CPS must prove:

  • There is a continuing danger at the home of physical or sexual abuse or there is evidence that the child has been sexually abused.
  • It is contrary to the child’s welfare to be returned home.
  • Reasonable efforts were made to prevent or eliminate removal.

Texas CPS Hearings

If CPS cannot demonstrate these factors because the parents have been falsely accused of abuse or neglect, the court will order the return of the child. If the removal is upheld, another hearing will be scheduled within the next 14 days.

When a child is removed after CPS obtained a court order, a hearing must be scheduled within 14 days. At that time, parents can argue for the return of their children, or the court will temporarily order the children placed in CPS care or under the care of a conservator.

A Lawyer Can Help If CPS Unlawfully Removed Your Child

If your children were taken by CPS after someone falsely accused you of abusing or neglecting them, your best course of action is to call Houston defense lawyer Ned Barnett immediately. You will either need to be ready for an emergency hearing within a day or two or prepare for an adversary hearing within 2 weeks.

With considerable experience and a record of success in CPS investigations and legal actions, attorney Barnett can help reunite you with your child. He will aggressively represent your interests in court and help you communicate with your caseworker.

Attorney Barnett knows how to fight for your children to be returned as quickly as possible. In addition to cooperating with CPS and the family courts, he can request an administrative review of your situation. This can clear up confusion, reveal accusations to be false, and speed up the process.

Call Houston Attorney Ned Barnett Today

Call the Law Offices of Ned Barnett at (713) 222-6767 to schedule a free consultation.