Law Office of Jacqueline McNuttLaw Office of Jacqueline McNutt

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What you should know when creating your child protection defense

Being investigated for alleged child abuse is frightening enough as it is, and not fully understanding the process can make it worse. Parents may feel as if they have few -- if any -- options for defending themselves. However, taking the time to learn more about how these allegations are handled in Texas can be very helpful when creating a child protection defense.

When suspected abuse or neglect is reported to the Department of Family and Protective Services, DFPS will then investigate the matter to determine whether any children are being abused or neglected. Families will not always have to head straight to court if DFPS decides that something did take place. Instead, the agency may offer help to the family, even if children are temporarily placed in someone else's care.

DFPS can also submit information to court, at which point judges can order families to attend classes, counseling and other helpful services. In general, Texas state law is focused on helping families learn and grow. Many parents are successfully reunited with their children through this process. It is not uncommon for children to live with family members during this process. Unfortunately, parents can also lose their parental rights, at which point children are placed into the state's foster care system.

The vast majority of parents are doing the best they can. Completing any counseling sessions or classes ordered by a judge is not only helpful for raising the bar for "best," but it also demonstrates a parent's commitment to bettering him or herself. Parental rights are nothing to take chances on, though. When accused of abuse or neglect, a parent should be sure to create a strong child protection defense.

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