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What is a CPS investigation caseworker looking for?

As a part of the investigation, the caseworker will likely ask to interview the children. If and when the caseworker visits with the children, they may visit them at school or outside of the parent’s presence. A parent may refuse to allow the caseworker to interview your child outside of your presence.

However, if you do not give the caseworker permission to interview your child, the Department may ask a judge for a court order allowing them to do so. When the interview takes place, it will likely be recorded in either video or audio format.

Additionally, the CPS caseworker must determine if there is a reasonable likelihood to believe the child will be abused or neglected in the future. After conducting the investigation, the caseworker will determine if the children are at risk or if they are not at risk.

CPS determines the children are not at risk:

  • If there are no significant risk factors and abuse or neglect has not been found to have occurred in the investigation;

  • or, the case may be closed if the family is willing and able to deal with risk factors in their lives, so the children are not at risk through the use of family and community resources.

CPS determines that the children are at risk:

  • If the caseworker identifies significant risk factors;

  • or if the family is unwilling or unable to deal with risk factors in their lives to ensure the safety of the children in the future through the use of family and community resources.

If a CPS caseworker determines a child is at risk of neglect or abuse, they may proceed with any of the following:

  • Recommending services the family can utilize to address the problem;

  • Removing the child from the home;

  • Opening the case for family-based safety services; or

  • Filing a petition to initiate civil court action to protect the victim.

If you are being investigated by CPS you should consult an attorney with extensive experience in Child Protective Services cases.

Let’s Talk! Sims & Purzer PLLC has over a decade of experience representing parents in Texas CPS cases.


Sims & Purzer, Attorneys at Law, PLLC is a Family Law firm serving San Antonio and greater South Texas. We are a family-run boutique law firm that works to secure the solutions that matter most to you and your family.

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