Child Protective Services (CPS)
When Texas Child Protective Services comes to visit you or your child (perhaps while that child is at school), it is rarely a good idea to ignore them. CPS has the power by law to “take possession of a child without a court order” if the CPS worker, a law enforcement officer or a juvenile probation officer has personal knowledge of facts that would lead a person of ordinary prudence and caution to believe that there is either an immediate danger to the physical health or safety of the child; or that the child has been a victim of sexual abuse.
Additionally, those classes of people may also remove a child without a court order, if they have information supplied by another person (typically, the person who makes the initial report to CPS) that is merely corroborated by some known personal facts which “together would lead a person of ordinary prudence and caution to believe” that (either) there is an immediate danger to the physical health or safety of the child; that the child has been a victim of sexual abuse; or, “that the parent or person who has possession of the child has permitted the child to remain on premises used for the manufacture of methamphetamine.”
So, what does all of that mean? If someone makes a report of child abuse or neglect to CPS, which provides “information” of the type described above, then the CPS worker can remove your child or children without a court order, even if the CPS Investigator lacks the ability to verify that information (such as when you avoid them), but has some other, unspecified personal knowledge of other facts that cause him or her to believe that your child or children may be in danger.
If you find yourself in the unenvitable position of having contact with someone from CPS, please contact an attorney immediately. As always, our initial 30 minute consultations are free.