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When CPS receives a report and opens a case against a parent, they will complete an Investigation Finding Report. The wording for this report may vary by state but it is typically completed within a couple of months. You will have the option to appeal this decision. Please note, this is not the termination of your rights but it is their finding of abuse or neglect. Typically, the investigation report is not based on facts or evidence. 

If CPS alleges in this Investigative Findings that you abused or neglected your child, you are supposed to receive the results by mail. If you have been falsely accused, it is important that you challenge this finding by following the appeal process. As a hint, if you have not been charged with a crime, then you have not abused or neglected your child. Even if you are charged with a crime, you are not guilty until convicted by a jury of your peers.

The "civil" courts in CPS cases act as a front. They encourage a long process for funding. This investigation finding report is CPS' guilty verdict without due process. They courts are unconstitutional and are only set up to give the illusion of due process. Anyone who has been through this process knows that CPS and these courts do anything but afford you due process. My point is this - don't rely soley on the courts to take action in your case. There are a lot of other actions to take outside of the courtroom that your attorney and CPS when not typically tell you about. This appeal is one of those actions.

How To Find Out How To Appeal The CPS Investigative Findings

When you receive the Investigative Finding Report, it should provide you with a bit of information on how to appeal the findings. In Texas, it is considered an Administrative Review of Investigation Findings (ARIF). This is the child welfare agency's way of complying with the national Administrative Procedure Act. There is more to all of this but you need to know that this is an essential course of action to take. CPS will downplay this course of action and usually won't volunteer information about it. You have to ask for the form and take action yourself.

Administrative Review of Investigation Findings (ARIF)

In Texas, this appeal process is called the Administrative Review of Investigation Findings. They do not have this form available on their website although they have just about every other form available. I was able to get a request form and it is linked below.

Find out what the process is for your state. It is similar in all states. If you don't find it in the paperwork, go to the CPS policies. You should be able to find the process in the policies. If you ask your caseworker about it, I recommend you do so in writing, whether it be through text, email, fax, or in a certified letter. But always keep a documented record of all correspondence with CPS. 

The request form for Administrative Review of Investigation Findings or ARIF, for Texas, is linked below:

 FORM K-903-2234 ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW REQUEST PDF>

Note: On this form, it only provides a mailing address as a method for submitting the request. I highly recommend that you send this certified mail and then after you get confirmation of receipt, request a copy of your request form from them. CPS is very sneaky. Stay on top of record keeping.

Key Tips For Citing The Basis of Your Appeal Request:

1. Learn how to write objectively in your case, sticking only to facts. Cite policy and legal violations that apply to your case.

It is important to learn how to write objectively in your own case and to educate yourself on the policies and laws. Write up as many rough drafts as needed before you submit your request for appeal.

2. Identify what CPS did wrong in the investigation by citing laws and policies that they violated.

CPS is literally bypassing regulation and policy, state and federal law, and acting in a manner that is lawless. This unethical and unlawful practice is not a rare ethics issue but has become routine. It should not be hard for you to identify which policies and laws they violated. When you find the policies, they may seem overwhelming at first glance. However, stick to the key issues related to your case. If they interviewed your child without your consent, there are policies that apply. If they removed your child without a court order and absent an emergency and imminent danger, there are policies that apply. The state law is usually cited within the policy, so you can cross reference to these laws in your notes.

CPS Policies in Texas can be found on their website and the direct link for CPS Policy in Texas is https://www.dfps.state.tx.us/handbooks/CPS/default.asp

3. Key areas where CPS is violating policy and law.

Some very common issues I've seen with policy violations include the way that CPS caseworkers develop Family Service Plans and Child Service Plans. They are supposed to identify needs based on facts and evidence. They are supposed to involve you in the development of these Service Plans instead of writing up ambigous needs. They are also supposed to invite you to all of their planning meetings. CPS caseworkers and their supervisors often violate procedure throughout this process. You can identify these policies, cite them in your appeal request and very specifically state how they violated these policies. Other policies to look for and that you are likely to find for citing violations include interviewing policies, the policies regarding your right to motion to modify service plans (very important for those false allegations), policies about removal with and without a court order, CPS legal bases, Constitutional and federal law mandates, access to your case records, and the ombudsman process. If you have submitted a complaint to the ombudsman and you are dissatisfied with the response, they are supposed to provide you with a way to appeal the ombudsman decision. We found in our case, there was no appeal process provided. Also, pay attention to the court petitions and orders. If the court fails to specify how you are a danger, why you don't have visitation, or provide explanation for their decisions, they are in violation as well. Again, the courts are nothing more than a front and they are a part of CPS. They are not lawful or constitutional courts. 

You must take action in all areas possible because these requests and complaints are recorded. If all parents will be proactive, then CPS will have serious issues continuing to conduct business in such a corrupt way. Failure to act gives them statistics that keeps them in business. The administrative proceess is more effective than the CPS fraudulent courts.