Grandparent's Involvement in CPS Cases
Frequently, we are contacted by a grandparent because CPS has placed their grandchild in a shelter and/or foster care. Assuming that the grandparent is seeking to have the grandchild placed in their home, it is critical that the CPS caseworker, the attorney ad litem, and the guardian ad litem are contacted so that CPS and criminal background checks can be ran on the adults living in the grandparent's home: This process can be completed by the CPS caseworker within a few hours. The goal at this time is to get the child out of the foster care system and into the home as soon as possible; however, there are situations wher the court will require a homestudy to be conducted on the grandparent prior to changing the child's placement.
Additionally, it is important to understand that a grandparent is not a party to the CPS suit, thus, the grandparent is prohibited from asking for relief from the court and is not entitled to receive information from service providers, etc. A grandparent does not become a legal party in the suit unless a suit is filed or they intervene into the CPS matter. Essentially, without becoming a legal party, the grandparent lacks a legal voice to speak for the best interest of their grandchild.
If the biological parents' parental rights have been terminated, a grandparent can petition the court to be named the child's managing conservator under section 102.006 of the Texas Family Code. Caution: This is a relatively new section of the Family Code and at least two appellate courts have held that a grandparent must show standing under another statutory scheme, e.g., show substantial past contact, before being granted standing.
For additional information on CPS litigation see the topics under the CPS category.