Grandparents and other family members who intervene in pending custody cases brought by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services must prepare themselves for a home study. While you can still get custody of a child without a favorable home study, your chances of success increase dramatically when an approved study is on file with the family law court.
CPS attorneys Gregory L. Housewirth and Holly J. Schreier have helped hundreds of concerned grandparents obtain custody of grandchildren caught in Dallas CPS cases. While there is no substitute for representation by the most recognized CPS attorneys in Dallas, following this advice from CPS attorney Greg Housewirth may improve your chances of passing a CPS child custody home study.
- Make your home “placement ready”Have a room set up for the child. Make it warm and inviting. Show CPS you are committed and ready to accept the child into your home. If a toddler or younger child is coming into the home, have it child-proofed, taking special care to put all hazards out of reach.
- Have a care plan What hours do you work? Who will care for the child when you are unable? If you plan to use a daycare, tour the facility before meeting with the CPS worker and know specifics. If there are other adults in the home, they will need to participate in the study and be approved to provide care for the child.
- Prepare your references Prior to meeting with the CPS worker for your custody home study, prepare a list of references that you will give to the worker during her visit to your home. Then, call your references and tell them to expect a call from the CPS worker and urge them to be prompt in returning calls.
- Be honest about your past Dallas CPS will know of any criminal or CPS history before arriving at your home. Trying to hide your past mistakes will ruin your chances of being approved for child placement. Show that you have learned from your past shortcomings and convince CPS you are a safe and trustworthy placement for the child.
- Don’t apologize for abusive parents. CPS is, above all, expecting you to protect the child from further harm. As someone related to an abusive or neglectful parent, CPS will be naturally wary of you. Your job is to explain to CPS that you place the safety and welfare of the child above any allegiance you may have to a family member who is accused of abusing or neglecting a child. In other words, protect, protect, protect. Explain that you will strictly follow any rules in place for parental access to the child.
- eep your cool even when the questions are difficult You should plan on a CPS custody evaluation taking several hours to complete. You will be thoroughly questioned about the most sensitive areas of your life. While these questions are invasive and often irrelevant, keep your cool, be polite and answer to the best of your ability. Along these lines, don’t set yourself up for failure by speculating or guessing your answers to CPS questioning.
At Schreier & Housewirth Family Law, we have spent over 20 years helping grandparents in child custody and CPS cases maintain their family ties. Gregory L. Housewirth and Holly J. Schreier are recognized as to “go to” lawyers in defending Dallas CPS cases and Fort Worth CPS cases.