Getting a visit from Child Protective Services is one of the things a parent dreads the most. Finding out that someone is questioning your parenting skills and feels as if the state needs to intervene can be a frightening, infuriating and humiliating experience. However, you are far from alone. Countless parents in Texas and elsewhere receive visits from CPS, and most cases find a resolution without having the children taken away.
Even so, this can be an uncertain time as you worry about the outcome of your case and whether you might lose your children. If you get a knock on your door and it turns out to be a social worker with CPS, stay calm and remember the following tips:
- Ask to see the social worker’s warrant. You do not have to let CPS into your home without a court warrant, no matter how intimidating they are.
- You can tell the social worker you need time to get in contact with your attorney. The worker will likely schedule another visit, but this will give you time to prepare for the visit and seek legal counsel.
- The social worker may return with law enforcement. You may ask again to see a warrant, but the law may require you to let the CPS worker into your home this time.
- During the visit, remain polite but answer questions briefly and to the point. Do not offer additional information or appear overly helpful. The CPS worker’s job is to make sure your children are safe and well cared for, but he or she is not your friend.
- Ask for the social worker’s contact information. A business card is ideal. If you decide to record the visit for your protection, you must inform the CPS worker that you are doing so.
It is possible that CPS may remove your children from the home, depending on the social worker’s judgment. If so, do not panic. You may provide names of relatives or other people you trust for CPS to consider entrusting your children with while they work on your case. When you cooperate with the agency and law enforcement, you improve your chances of getting your children back sooner and closing your case.