If you are involved in a CPS case and have had your children taken away, we suggest that you educate yourself on some of the basics. Whether you have an attorney or not, it is important that you know the process, are aware of counter-moves, and have information to be armed. 

We will add to this list over time and if you have anything to share that may help others, feel free to contact us. These are resources and suggested reading material that we've found helpful and hope they help you out as well.

I. What to read specifically in your case and to fight CPS in court.

When CPS comes in and takes your child/ren, they have things set up in a very deceptive and sabotaging way. Some of the most important court hearings and administrative actions are done very early in the case. 

1. Read the Original Petition to the Court that was filed by CPS. Read it thoroughly. They will likely be going for terminating your rights in this original petition. It does not matter what the circumstances are and it is important that you pay attention to what they allege you have done wrong.

2. Read the Family Service Plan and do not sign this contract if it contains anything false about the reason they got involved or their purported needs that you have. File a Motion To Modify the services plan at the least. Demand that they provide evidence of purported needs and evidence of reason for involvement. CPS is supposed to inform you of your right to modify this plan. They are also supposed to provide evidence of purported needs to the court.

3. Because they are required to do certain things, it is important that you Read The CPS Policy. It is lengthy but if you set aside time each day to read through sections, you will eventually get through the policy. Take notes, write down which policies they have violated. Save this for the complaints to follow.

4. Read the Investigation Findings Report and if their allegations are false, immediately request an appeal to the findings. I cannot stress enough how important this is. Your basis for appeal can be that they have no evidence if what they allege is false. It is important that you read their policy to understand how this appeal works. Read our article about The Importance of Appealing Investigative Findings. 

5. Read the Family Codes, Statues, Laws for your state. Educate yourself on the various hearings and what they entail. 

6. Read about the appeals for each hearing. In Texas, you have a right to request a De Novo hearing after any of the hearings within the 12 month period. It is important that you appeal at every level. 

7. Read every filing from CPS, CASA, Attorney Ad Litem, etc. Read thoroughly. Make note of slander, false statements, etc. File objections and rebuttals with attached opposing evidence to each document they file. 

8. Read the Civil Rules of Procedure, Rules of Evidence, and Appellate Procedure for your state. The civil rules of procedure is probably one of the most important things you can study. You will learn what all you can do, what to expect, various types of remedy, and filings and pleadings. 

9. Read your case file. If you don't have it, request it. Learn how to do that by reading Discovery and Information Requests. If you have an attorney who is trying to prevent you from doing these things that are in your best interest, I suggest you fire him or her. You will find conflicting statements in the CPS case file. This is gold for you to read and take notes on. CPS workers lie so much and in so many cases that they do not keep track of their lies, so study your case file and find errors, omissions, and conflicting statements. It is especially important that you compare the Affidavit the caseworker presented to the court with the Investigation Report in the CPS files.

Federal Laws and Regulations

CPS agencies are funded with federal grants and therefore, the state laws and CPS policies are developed to adhere to federal regulations. Educating yourself on these federal regulations can help you connect the dots. Despite the presumption that CPS agencies are state agencies, they are nothing more than DC corporations.

Administrative Procedures Act

Child Welfare Agencies are state agencies that have to adhere to the Administrative Procedures Act. After you read this, you will realize that there is something called the Administrative Office of State Hearings. The name varies depending on the state you're in but I highly recommend you look into this, as it appears to be the valid forum for taking CPS agencies to court over policy violations. Based on my experience and research they try very hard to conceal this but it is there and I have seen many cases against CPS in Texas on the docket. This is not the court you go to for the CPS case itself. You must file into the court if CPS doesn't grant your request for a hearing in that forum. 

Social Security Act Title IV

The policies that govern CPS come from Title IV of the Social Security Act. You can learn a lot by reading this.

Documents To Read

Forms Index by Title for Texas Family Law Practice Manual 


Taking a Stand on Fifth Amendment Implications For Court-Ordered Therapy Programs

Child Protective Services Parents Resource Guide

Broken Chair Petition

Certified Copy of Birth vs. State Birth Certificates

Texas CPS System and Flow Chart