Exploring Placement During CPS Case
Federal and Texas law, in addition to internal policy, requires that CPS attempt to locate and secure relative or "fictive" relative placement for children that have been removed from their parents through a suit brought by a government agency, i.e., CPS.
The Texas Family Code states that before the 262 hearing, CPS must perform background and criminal checks of any relatives or designated individuals identified as a potential caregiver. CPS is required to evaluate each person identified as to determine the most substitute caregiver and must complete a home study prior to the hearing. It is important to note that the statute explicitly reads that until CPS "identifies a relative or other designated individual qualified to be a substitute caregiver, [CPS] must continue to explore substitute caregiver options." Moreover, CPS is authorized to place the child with a relative or caregiver prior to the background checks and home study being completed, if placement is the child's best interest.
As illustrated above, it is absolutely critical for potential caregivers to get involved in the process early on. Typically this can be achieved by contacting the CPS caseworker and providing them with background information. If possible, any family and friends that can care for the child should attend the 262 hearing or any subsequent hearings.