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What happens after a CPS Investigation?


If you are in a situation where Child Protective Services (CPS) has completed an investigation into allegations of child abuse or neglect, now they will make a decision about if your file should move forward to a CPS case. Possible outcomes are:

  • Reason to Believe – RTB disposition is if the caseworker finds a preponderance of the evidence that the reported child abuse or neglect did occur. Texas Administrative Code Section 700.512(b)(2), See also TX DFPS Handbook Section 2281.2

  • No home study is needed for adult adoption. No criminal background.

  • Ruled Out – RO disposition is if the caseworker finds insufficient evidence to reasonably conclude that the reported child abuse or neglect did not occur or if the alleged perpetrator of the reported abuse or neglect is younger than 9 years of age. Texas Administrative Code Section 700.511 (b)(2), 700.512(a)(1)

  • Unable to Complete – This disposition is when the caseworker is not able to complete the investigation. This often occurs because the family was not located or refused to cooperate with the investigation.

  • Unable to Determine – UTD disposition is when the caseworker finds some evidence that the reported child abuse or neglect took place, but it’s not enough evidence to support a Reason to Believe determination. Texas Administrative Code Section 700.511(b)(4), 700.512(b)(4)

  • Administrative Closure – This disposition is based on evidence that intervention by the CPS is not necessary. The CPS caseworker must issue findings regarding the report of abuse or neglect that was reported, and you should receive notice of the results. You have 45 days after receiving notice to request an Administrative Review of the Investigative Findings (ARIF) in writing if you disagree with the outcome. The rules for the ARIF process are in 40 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) §707.505. and Texas Family Code §§261.309(c) and 261.309(d). You should contact an attorney with experience litigating against CPS in your area. We are here to answer questions and help guide you through the process.

This is a complicated process and you will need an experienced CPS attorney to guide you through the process. Call us today at (210) 226-2227 to discuss your unique circumstances.


We would be happy to help you make things better for your family.



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