Published on:

Texas CPS Memo “Quit violating the Constituion, or we could be sued!”

Thanks to the TDCAA website for posting this memo from CPS. Recently, CPS was sued by two parents in Fort Bend County for numerous constitutional violations.

The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals held that CPS could be liable to future litigants (under a 1983 claim). Normally, the government grants itself immunity from lawsuits. However, the 5th Circuit held that CPS may not have immunity if they continue to violate the constitutional rights of parents. Rightfully, CPS is scared about the possibility of massive judgments against them. Hence this urgent memo to employees.

From the CPS memo-

On July 28, 2008, a federal appeals court with authority over Texas handed down a decision in a case that will be referred to as “the Gates case.” The decision is binding on Texas and because it involves federal constitutional rights, supersedes anything to the contrary in Texas law, or DFPS policy or practice.

I. INTRODUCTION
The Gates case is significant for two key reasons. First, it sets out a new standard that will require DFPS to obtain a court order prior to removal in a much larger proportion of our cases and affects whether we can transport or enter a home. Second, it is significant because it clarifies that if the standard is not followed, staff could be sued as individuals and lose qualified immunity, i.e., be responsible for monetary damages.

CPS may consider this a “new” standard. I disagree. The Constitution has been around longer than CPS. CPS shouldn’t be surprised that it applies to them.

Consent Searches
Just like the police will ask for consent to search your car, CPS will ask for consent to search your home. This memo reminds CPS that they can not invade private residences without a court order, consent, or emergency.

Parents, read this section and learn these rules. If CPS wants to enter your home it is not to help you. Call an attorney to protect your rights.

I

V. ENTERING AND REMAINING IN A HOME
A. SUMMARY
As with removals, in order to gain entry into a home for the purpose of a CPS investigation, we must have one of the following: 1) exigent circumstances, 2) consent, or 3) a court order, but the Gates ruling provided additional explanation concerning exigent circumstances and consent that will affect our practices.

NOTE: even if we do have exigent circumstances to enter a home, it may be more appropriate for safety reasons to call law enforcement to gain entry.

Current Practice: CPS enters a family’s home only if we have exigent circumstances, consent, or a court order. CPS does not always ensure consent is specific to our investigators. A court order in aid of investigation is rarely utilized.

New Practice: As with removals, exigent circumstances are present only where there is immediate danger to a child in the home, i.e. life or limb is in immediate jeopardy. Consent must be clear, unequivocal, voluntary and given specifically to CPS, as opposed to law enforcement. We will likely increase the use of court orders in aid of investigation.

One sentence sticks out. CPS will increase the use of court orders. That is a great idea. Instead of taking children first, and then going to court; CPS should actually investigate, then go to court for a removal. Of course, if this turns into a rubber stamp situation like DWI blood search warrants, then again there will be no justice.

More on the consent guidelines below the fold….


From the Memo-

2. Consent
The Gates case serves as an important reminder about the need for consent to enter a home for the purposes of conducting a CPS investigation. Key points are:

• Consent must be affirmative. It is not enough that a person does not say no. Consent for CPS to enter a home must be voluntarily given and unequivocal (clear). You should identify yourself as a CPS investigator and explicitly request and receive permission to enter the home. The best practice is to ensure that the person states you may enter (rather than simply getting a nod or other non-verbal gesture). In any case you must document the basis for consent in your narrative.
• Consent should be from someone with authority to give it. A parent has the authority to consent to or deny entry to the home. It is also reasonable to assume that if the parents have left one or more children in the care of an adult caretaker, that caretaker has the authority to consent to allow the caseworker to enter the home and interview the child in private, although a caretaker probably does not have the authority to permit a search of the entire house. If an adult is not home, the caseworker should rely on the consent of a child in the home only if the child appears old enough to effectively give consent. Teenagers will likely be old enough; children 12 or younger probably will not.
• Consent can be withdrawn at any time. Anyone with authority to give consent can also withdraw it at any time. The decision of a parent or other individual living in the home is the final word. So, if entry is gained after a housekeeper who does not live in the home gives consent, a parent or other individual living in the home could at any point instruct CPS to leave and we would be obligated to do so.
• Consent must be given to CPS. We routinely conduct joint investigations with law enforcement, but it is important to remember that our activities are separate. If law enforcement gains entry to a home, we must still request permission for CPS to enter. Moreover, if law enforcement determines consent is not necessary to their investigation, this determination does not apply to us. We must independently determine whether there are exigent circumstance or whether we have been given consent to enter.

Posted in: Texas Laws
Published on:
Updated:

16 Responses to “Texas CPS Memo “Quit violating the Constituion, or we could be sued!””

  1. Michael in LH says:

    Wow! Looks like there is still some hope for the constitution and our rights. Thanks for passing on the good news.

  2. Dennis says:

    It shows us if the government is out to get you then they will do whatever they can to do so. What needs to happen is the governemnt officals need to be punished if they cannot or do not prove the person guilty and let the weight of the goverment come down on them and ruin their life’s like thy do for so many others. This may stop some of the stupid prosecutions that they take on. This way some real crimminals that pose a danger to us can be solved.
    Dennis

  3. Warren says:

    Comments on the Gates Ruling
    Many areas within the Courts ruling have produced chilling effects…
    1). Not obtaining a court order prior to removal of a child from the home
    2). Not obtaining a court order prior to removal of a child from the school, no public standard for expectations set by law
    3). DFPS\Law Enforcement not informing parents of interviewing their children, no public standard for expectations set by law
    4). No investigation into as to why CPS Caseworkers avoid obtaining a court order on a regular basis, no public standard for expectations set by law
    5). No investigation into the “practice of avoiding” obtaining a court order on a regular basis, no public standard for expectations set by law
    6). A conscious decision by Circuit Court Judges to not provide a solution to the known issues in the Gates case before the Gates case occured eventhough the information was available in the public, but not researched by said Courts, no public standard for expectations set by law
    7). DFPS not held to an “Emergency Standard” as many other state agencies are, no public standard for expectations set by law
    8). Special needs children making the “Report of Abuse” must be considered when assigning a “Priority” number to a case
    9). No independant investigative body responsible for complaints lodged against DFPS, since the Attorney General is responsible for representing DFPS, conflict of interest from the memo

  4. Anonymous says:

    Between this failing process and giving away 700 billion taxpayer dollars to management that has a failing process that will continue the same process (no public indication of change in process), just shows us that we, Americans, need to step back and evaluate the current governments ability to represent what is best for America. We, Americans, must be included as a part of governmet in larger private numbers inorder to represent our best intrests or terraform the current governmet and used what we have done correctly and really learn from mistakes made in the past.

  5. Liliane says:

    Will parents who’ve already had their children wrongfully taken be able to use this new case law?

  6. Anonymous says:

    this is actually stupid…and the outcome will be seen in a few years when more and more kids are being abused and CPS can’t help. Just watch and see.

  7. SDV says:

    CPS tarrant county. Get ready for a lawsuit!
    You know who this is
    reguards and parents who have had there kids taken away, interigated one on one for the purpose of criminal side investgation, parents getting the cps run around (classes ECT)
    Parents who are bending to cps rule (case workers)
    Parents whos kids have been tormented.
    I have been there with you
    My kids are now worse off now than ever.
    I pray for you.
    CPS acts like they are the right hand of God.
    CPS you are punishable by the same laws of the state of Texas that everyone is.
    The right hand of God is about to slam his fist!
    requards
    No Signature

  8. lisa says:

    What about the Central Registry Listing? In 1992 I took custody of my nephew through the correct channels of CPS, In 2005, he had his first bi-polar episode in which he called the sheriff and reported that I hit him. He had hurt himself and blamed it on me. I was arrested, during the investigation CPS discovered they had never finalized their placment of him and for 12 years all we had was temporary custody. There were many issues that I could name that we were put through but the most important was, because of the CPS’s handling of this case my nephew was denied SSI benefits for his disability and 2 yrs of death benefits he was entitled to after his mother died. In May of 2008 I lost my job as a montessori teacher because of a Central Registry Listing, I was not criminally charged but I’m told I have to defend myself in a civil case. I have been waiting for 10 months for a court date meanwhile, after 30 years of working with children I am not allowed to continue my career because of this.
    I have lost so much and still I am supporting my nephew as I always have. If I worked in any other field I wouldn’t have lost my job, how can this NOT be a violation of my rights?? I have written so many letters to govt. officials trying to find a way to get this dismissed but to no avail. I am always told the same thing I must wait for a hearing. The D.A. granted an expunction this summer as the charges were dropped.
    In the DFPS files they have a copy of the psychiatrist’s report stating that my nephew is diagnosed with Bi-polar and has many emotional problems. They also know that he is the product of drug and alcohol addicted parents. I am fed up with CPS methods and the fact that even though they made many errors in this case the only ones to suffer the consequences is our family.

  9. Rex says:

    Yeah, I just had these guys show up late saturday night (After 10:30) at my house with accusations and lies that are hanous! They said i grabbed my 2 year old by his neck, beat him against the wall and gave him a bloody black eye. When they came, my two year old was still awake and nothing was wrong with him. they even took pictures, and what? Yeah, nothing wrong with him. Now, they are making it their personal business to pull my other kids aside at school without my approval and asking them stuff. Obviously, what wass asked of them supported the case of my innocence, but how much info do they need to obtain to see that all the info that they have obtained supports my innocence?

  10. Anthony says:

    you guys need to read the Texas Family Code.

    261.1305 is especially useful. CPS is a powerless tiger if there are actually no real abuse.

    CPS uses your unwillingness to educate yourselves on what the law actually is.

    I just handed CPS thier head in Harris county this AM. I will be following up with civil against the case worker for slander. They do not do thier homework, and if you can get them to present thier week unsubstantiated case under oath – the game is over. My children never have been, nor will be interviewed by CPS.

  11. E B Talley says:

    I have experienced CPS’ inexperience with the removal of my child from the home while I was hospitalized. I was not informed that I had a CPS case until there was a court order to remove him. After two years of getting the run around the CPS ombudsman informed me that I could request an appeal. I got all of the charges dropped but one, neglectful supervision. Is there a rule or law that would help me to get this charge dropped? Now I can’t work with children as a professional. It will be on the CPS registry until my child turns 18.

  12. TLRB says:

    I have had the misfortune of dealing with CPS when both of my kids were born. The first time they took a bad grief-stricken time in my life and made it a billion times worse. I had just given birth to my daughter (a very hard pregnancy) and my grandfather who was a driving part of my life passed away 20 days after her birth. Then less than two weeks later my best friend rolled his car and passes as a result of his injuries. My sis-in-law (who was a super with CPS at the time) called in the report…..Gee Erica…do you think maybe I was a little out of my mind because I had a brand spanking new baby (postpartum) and watched two people that I loved dearly die in less than a month might have something to do with the fact that I look like I was loosing it?!?!
    But you know I was smart the first time around….I hired an attorney that day and the case went away but not before the CPS agent sat in my house and threatened an emergency removal of my month old infant because I told her that I had representation and would not sign anything or go anywhere with her for tests. Her name was Heather Hoytal (sp?) and she sat in the living room that day telling my mother and I how she had previously been employed by the FBI and “knew when someone was lying”…lady my kid was fat and happy and perfectly flawless when you demanded that she be striped out of her clothes AND DIAPER so that you could take a pic to prove she was fine (doesn’t that qualify as a sex crime??) and you had the nerve to imply that my princess was being neglected. Stupid cow, you wouldn’t know abuse if it happened in front of you.
    And why didn’t she get arrested for falsely impersonating a FBI agent (or former as the case may be)…isn’t that still illegal in our country?

    The second time was when I gave birth to my son, they claim I had meth and THC in my system and that when he was born he had meth (but no pot??? THC sticks around a lot longer dummy!!) in his first poo. The THC I can’t confirm or deny as I have been known to use the herb to ease my migraines and stomach condition but meth?!?!? NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER!!!!!!!!! Pregnant or not I would NEVER put that crap into my body; you could give it to me free…guarantee that it would make me rich and look like a supermodel with absolutely no side effects and I still wouldn’t put something in my system that is made with freaking rat poison!!!
    They gave my little guy to my mom while I was still recovering in the hospital (he was a day and a half old), I gave birth to him completely alone with no loved ones there with me, and before I can even walk well enough to leave they take him from me. Not to mention the family cps person at the hospital starts yelling at me and becoming very aggressive when I ask why she wants to know about my daughter (a child that was born in a hospital over 300 miles away and over 2 years prior) and then looks at me and says “I can see your getting upset…..angry with me so I will go and come back with security later when you have calmed down”; and then put in her report that she discontinued the interview because she feared for her safety (I had given birth less than 12 hours earlier what kind of threat could I possibly have been in my weak and bed-ridden condition??). WTF?!?!? YOU screamed at ME when I asked why you were asking the things you were; hmmmm…..erratic behavior with violent mood swings and sudden outburst…I think you are the one on meth!!
    The end result with the hospital was 3 days in-patient recovery with my refusal to accept anything stronger than aspirin to ease the pain of natural child birth because I was to scared to take anything stronger for fear that they would use it against me and I still left the hospital without my son.
    This time I was stupid though, I listened to the same sis-in-law when she told me to cooperate and it would go away quickly. So I did and amazingly enough when I went for the follicle test they “found levels that showed I was an addict and used on a daily basis” which I found amazing since I didn’t use it EVER! I paid for a second independent test that was never completed because CPS sent them a letter demanding they refuse my test because it fell into a vague part of the testing facilities policies about independent/non-employer/non-gov testing for saliva and hair. So I never was able to gain the proof that they had rigged the test, and I later found out that (and believe the reason they blocked the independent test was because) while they claimed to have identified the meth as the street drug version through the use of a Mass Spec, when I went through blood testing performed by A DOCTOR he said that the Methamphetamine derivative found in my system was actually from an active ingredient found in Zantac called Rentidadine (sp?) and is commonly known to cause a false-poss on urine tests but can be easily ruled out with the use of a Mass Spec. The doc concluded that they never ran it through the Mass Spec (ie they flat out lied to make me do what they wanted). I would like to say that is where the story ends but this is the CPS……they sent me for a psych eval as well as a drug eval and shock of shocks…..both came back saying that I was perfectly sane and had nothing in my life that would give me cause to seek drugs. Further more they stated that they did not feel there was merit to the case at all considering I presented to be a healthy and happy person with a good job, great family/support system, happy engagement to my son’s father and a strong faith in a higher power. Did this end my case…..sadly still the answer is no. They decided they wanted me to go to drug education classes but after filling out the paperwork and speaking to an intake counselor I informed my case worker John Whitfield that he was going to have to find a different option……the place they sent me spent an hour trying to get me to “admit” that I had used meth as “admittance” is the only way I would be able to recover from “my addiction” and was required for enrollment in their program. My response to the counselor….”I DID NOT use meth at ANY TIME!” “I WILL NOT ‘admit’ to something I DIDN’T DO just to make the case go away!” and “If admitting usage of meth is required for involvement in the ‘program’ (which was suppose to be a class educating me on the dangers of drugs) then I WILL NOT participate in your ‘program’!” After this little phase I waited over 4 months for my case worker to get back to me about a different class only to find out that because his wife was having a baby he hadn’t really been focused on my case and getting it over with. During the entire 9 months that they ‘had my case’ I was drug tested only once and that was 2 days after I had been in a car accident where a crude oil hauling rig rear-ended me and I was on powerful pain killers for my injuries. My mom called to tell Mr. Whitfield about the accident and the next day a diff agent shows up to take me to be tested. The test comes back with a ridiculous amount of THC in my system which of course they hold against me until I tell them I KNOW FOR A FACT that the level of Ibuprofen along with one of the narcotics prescribed for my injuries are medically DOCUMENTED as causing false positives in tests for THC.
    They never tested me again; and just FYI… this accused ‘ADDICT WITH A DAILY HABIT’ did not pop for meth on the only other drug test they gave me. It was a miracle, somehow I went from being a heavy user with a ‘need’ type habit to clean as a whistle without so much as an hour of rehab, counseling, withdrawals, illness, or even so much as a minuet hint of physical/mental/emotional fluctuation from how I normally am. This is the same drug that they have labeled as extremely addictive and incurable without the assistance of inpatient treatment or rehab.
    Nonetheless….after all that time and total silence from my case worker for 2+ months I get a letter from CPS stating that I refused to comply with their conditions/orders/rules/whatever (the letter said that I refused to do any of the many orders they imposed on me) and that my insubordination was unacceptable. That my failure to comply with the orders outlined in the safety plan (isn’t worth the legal weight of the paper it is written on) along with my lack of communication (huh? excuse me?!? MY LACK OF COMMUNICATION?!?!?!?) has resulted in the unresolved status of my case that they had decided to close.
    First of all…..I DID EVERYTHING CPS ASKED!!! YOUR CASEWORKER FAILED TO DO IS JOB!!!! CPS…YES YOU….WASTED TAX PAYERS MONEY, MY TIME, AND SLANDERED THE GOOD NAMES OF BOTH MYSELF AND MY FAMILY!!!
    I was told that I would have to move out of my parents home as that is where my 3 year old daughter and 6 month old son were staying while they dicked up my life (so I stayed there to care for my infant!!) and that “as a reminder” I was not allowed to remove the children from the home, or be alone with them at any time. That CPS was not returning guardianship of the kids to me and would refuse to do so until such time as I go through the states psych and drug programs as well as behavioral mod program.
    Are you people shitting me?? SERIOUSLY?!?
    First off…..YOU DON’T HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO TELL ME THAT YOU HAVE REMOVED MY GUARDIANSHIP RIGHTS OVER MY KIDS!!!!! CPS IS NOT A F’ING JUDGE IN ANY STATE IN THIS NATION!!! (in case y’all up there at DFPS forgot that little fact) That being said….I will do what I want with my kids when I want and however I want and y’all can’t do crap about it! Second….YOUR AGENCY FAILED TO DO YOUR JOB AND YOUR AGENT WASTED MY TIME, YOU TRIED TO MAKE A CASE WHERE THERE WAS NOT ONE AND IT PISSED Y’ALL OFF THAT I KNEW MORE THAN YOUR AVERAGE JOE ABOUT THE LAW!!! Finally….My kids NEVER HAVE BEEN, ARE NOT NOW, AND NEVER WILL BE ABUSED OR NEGLECTED IN ANY WAY SHAPE OR FORM!! Quite the opposite, my children want for NOTHING, my home looks like Toys-R-Us threw-up in every room, between the two of them they plow through almost $1000 in groceries a month, don’t even know what a spanking is, and have the best health care and child care (family provided) money can buy. My 4 year old daughter tests out at a second-grader’s level in cognitive response and learning, and my 2 year old son tests out at a kindergartner’s level in cognitive response and learning.
    Now a suggestion for anyone else who is faced with CPS invading their lives:
    1. GET A LAWYER (preferably one that hates CPS)…the AG’s office won’t help you and you should not try and rep yourself!!
    2. Don’t agree to ANYTHING!!
    3. Don’t let them in your house, if they come to your home ask them to leave your property, post a no trespassing sign along with a violator’s will be shot sign at the edge of your property line on all 4 sides.
    4. If they come back again I would say that you should pull the ‘eminent danger’ law on them and unload a couple of clips into them when they don’t get off your property the first time you ask. I know if they ever show up at my house again they will find themselves on the business end of my 12 gauge.

  13. BL Hawks says:

    WHERE ARE THE EXPERTS TO TESTIFY AGAINST CPS?

    I have read diligently a hundred or more horror stories of CPS did this and that, and for the most part, I believe that being a bureaucracy is misinterpreted as not caring, because things drag on. Truth is this; I would guess maybe 75% to 80% of those investigated by CPS have done something, or in a grey area of whether or not they committed an abusive act upon a child. There lies the rub!!

    I place myself in this category; I am again, fighting CPS. Most of the reason I am fighting CPS is my own fault! First of all, I am 6’5″ tall and X football player that had a rough and tough reputation, secondly, I am a practicing Christian and stated so, third, I do and have used corporal punishment if I am so inclined to, fourth, I am hard headed and non cooperative with CPS.

    My point is this, we do not live 50 years ago, or even 25, the ways of our society have changed. We can bemoaned the good ol days all we want, the point remains the same, if you wish to raise your children the way you think best, you have to do it in a way that keeps CPS/society out of your house. I am offering this as advice, and for many of you out there the cows out of the barn, once you get embedded with CPS you had better get use to a long process. I would advise not to do as I have done, when accosted by CPS due to a complaint by my X (I have custody) I answered an unequivocal “YES” to have you spanked your children with a belt or paddle or any other object. Do not answer as I, say “if I thought physical punishment could save my child’s life, then yes I would consider it”. Also, do not announced your beliefs, you will automatically be typecast a religious zealot related to Jim Jones and they will immediately go looking for their rendition of Kool-Aid. Do not be arrogant as I was, when told they could take my kid if I did not comply with their restrictions and with their mandatory counseling, I told them “NO”, either I was going to raise them, or they were going to raise them, but we were not going to share! Now I won that head butting contest in that a Judge came down on them like thunder but I lost too. Sure, the kid came home, but I was marked! From 1999 to 2003 I had 6 CPS complaints against me, after the next two I filed a complaint against the complaints, reminding the CPS workers that it was a Federal Offense to use CPS to further a domestic agenda. So, she had friends and relatives of hers file complaints, and even though I lived 3 and 1/2 hours from the people who filed the complaints, and they could not see my home, CPS came anyway. Lastly, make your home look like the home that a child is safe in, you do nothing for yourself with beer bottles and cans all over the front lawn and living room, nor is it helpful if your kids are dirty and the house filthy, hell, I might think you guilty too before even talking with you! Remember, if it quacks like a duck, walks like a duck,…….. so don’t give them reasons to believe. Then again, I have a house keeper and don’t drink or smoke and live in a $250,000 home in a very nice area, still they came. And my biggest suggestion, ‘DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT DOCUMENT” And I mean everything, maybe even how you do corporally punish your kids. I might would think of setting my camera up, and recording the discussion leading to the punishment the actual two or three licks and follow up with going to their room and repeating your sadness it came to this to make them do what they were suppose to.

    I doubt many if any read this, but if One does, and it saves you grief from a Government run amok, then it is worth it.

    By the Way, I am in court again this September, finally after 8 complaints, a CPS worker says “reason to believe”, all I had to fight them was two psychologist written letters to the court saying it did not happen, both kids being straight A students, one president of his class, and the fact they say Yes Sir and No Sir, as well asking permission and jumping when I say for them to do something. But all those things mean nothing, for I am telling you the truth, even when CPS finds nothing abusive happened, they keep it on file, and you never know that hidden away in their drawers is a comment, “unable to prove” or “reason to believe” but could not prove. And what happens is that even though you were found to not have done what you were accused of, it still counts as a form of guilt, because when the file gets thick, CPS says, “Where there is smoke, there is fire”. And when they see you have not cooperated in the past, it becomes a kind of Vendetta for them. I admit it, I was raised to be loving, and I am, I kiss and hug my boys daily, but I will come down like thunder too if it means they are getting out of line to the point they could cause harm to themselves.

    Best of luck all, for you that are guilty of actually hurting your kids in a way you know is wrong, quit it! And tell the kids you are sorry. For I promise you this, Bible says woe unto you that would harm a child. Problem is CPS thinks they are God!

  14. C. Moore says:

    My God, I thought it was only me! I am a single black mother of three with one child consider disabled because she has seizures. Mind you she is 13 year old, boy crazed and an A student. I have had so many problems with them that at one point I was going to give up! Wrong, wrong, wrong so these simple minded people thought. I tell you parents. Teach your children! My daughter laid it on one worker that tried that sneak attack mess at her school. I do not promote or advocate children cursing however we know some do and my little teen was upmost offended by the qustions and the additude by this worker. My daughter sees that I go to school full time, work full time, still go to all of my childrens activites, go to church, have sleep overs, etc. On top of that the worker had the nerves to THEN call me to sort out the issue. HMMMMMM, I had enough mid conversation I let them speak to my daughter again and lets just say that the case was unfounded! With that I offered my future services.
    I wondered how many lawyers (family law) they went up against?? I mean, I’m just wondering?

  15. Anonymous says:

    Someone commented that they believed that 75% to 80% of those investigated by CPS are actually guilty, but I just looked up the Texas stats on the DFPS website, and less than 30% have been confirmed of the total numbers who are investigated, BUT of the numbers reported to CPS, almost 90% were investigated. (as of 2005). And of those who were confirmed by a ‘perponderance’ of evidence, more than half were never reunited with their parents.

    Now, that last might sound great if it were not for the fact that that so-called evidence may not actually be evidence. Case in point: Me (and so many like me). CPS began investigating my family, unknown to us, but the allegations included physical abuse, drug use (every day and around my babies), drug dealing (with the drugs laying around in my children’s reach), and guns laying around in their reach as well. Ok, so upon hearing this, I do not blame CPS from getting involved; however, due to the nature of the allegations, SWAT raided our home with absolutely NO regard for my children’s safety (busting into EVERY possible entrance at once while CPS stood by and said nothing like “Oh, wait, you might traumatize or hurt the little one and two year old babies inside…). Luckily, no one was home at the time, but when they busted in and found absolutely nothing (because the woman lied…and yes, I know it’s a woman because the CPS casewroker told me later on), they did not arrest that woman for filing false charges. NOOOO instead, they decided to try to find SOMETHING on us (probably feeling foolish and trying to stay out of trouble for that unsubstantiated raid), and assisted in the kidnapping of my children (the day I discovered CPS was investigating us was the day my kids disappeared…I had no idea where they were). And this was AFTER CPS closed the case as inconclusive because they had not interviewed any of us. (I was not made aware of the case’s closure until much later, and I still had no idea where my babies were…AND they did not tell me where they were at the point they let me know the case was already closed, even when I said I wanted my babies back and that the allegations were all lies.) Okay, so while my children were ‘missing’ the caseworker sent a report to the county in which I was residing at the time, openning a completely new case over the same affair. I talked to the second case worker, who told me NOT to get a lawyer, and she told me that I couldn’t have my kids unless I signed a Safety Plan and cooperated. And the safety plan was the only way to keep my babies in my family and not in foster care throughout the process. Ignorant of any law regarding CPS, I signed and was ‘granted’ supervised visitation with my own children, and this was AFTER they examined my babies (without my consent) and tested me for drug use, too. (Of course I was/am clean because I do not do drugs…I rarely even take OTC meds.) So I knew this couldn’t be right because here the police have busted into my home and found NOTHING, and now you have completed your examination of me and my babies and found the remainder of the charges to be unfounded, and yet I still do not have my babies. AND CPS NEVER WENT TO COURT (their own statutes dictate that if they take the kids without a court order due to IMMINENT danger to their life and limb, they have exactly one business day to get a court order from a Judge to uphold the abduction. Otherwise they must return the children)…the second worker said nothing was done through the courts, that if I did not comply with their rules, THEN they would take me to court and terminate my rights to my babies….Robert, how many laws have you counted so far that were broken??

    So I made it my life to research federal and state laws because I was and am too poor to afford an attorney, and no attorney would help me for free (another issue to be addressed). I submitted an affidavit to several CPS reps, including the regional attorney, and immediately got my children back. The caseworker called and said that if I tried to sue, I would lose because I voluntarily gave up my children…I signed a paper. I told her if I choose to sue, I wanted her to bring that paper with her. It would help my case because I could prove that I did not give them up voluntarily (and I can, but in my affidavit, I rescinded that signature citing duress–kidnapping and holding my babies for the ransom of siging that Plan).

    Anyway, all this to say, CPS picks on people who are seemingly too poor and too ignorant to fight back. How many people have signed their babies away and NEVER recovered them afterwards, but were not really guilty? And I wonder how many babies suffered at the hands of real criminals while CPS was on this crusade against people like me and my family? They are seduced by governmental funding and do not care about family preservation. And too many people do not know their rights and are not informed of them, as the Texas CPS handbook states they should be (and in written form, handed to them by the investigating worker). I believe my race and socio-economic status misled these people. They thought that being a poor, black woman meant I would be incapable of figuring out their crimes, but I am very intelligent (as are so many women of my same status), ignorant but FAR from stupid, and I knew how to look for what I needed to fight back. Unfortunately, not many people do know how, or that they even CAN.

    These regulations could hinder investigations due to lack of movement on the part of CPS for fear of being sued, but if there was more than a written statute…if there was a completely separate entity that acted as a checks system to keep workers in line WHILE they are investigating, hurrying up the end of cases that prove themselves false, and focusing on the real perps, maybe then, true justice could be served and this monster we call CPS could be tamed.

  16. mags says:

    You guys want facts about cps?
    From The National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect in Washington These numbers are per 100,000 kids.
    Cps=kids in cps foster care
    Parents=Biological families
    Perpetrators of Maltreatment
    Physical Abuse CPS/Foster care 160, Parents 59
    Sexual Abuse CPS/Foster care 112, Parents 13
    Neglect CPS/Foster care 410, Parents 241
    Medical Neglect CPS/Foster care 14, Parents 12
    Fatalities CPS/Foster care 6.4, Parents 1.5