TEXAS FAMILY CODE §261.101 MANDATES THAT ANYONE WHO SUSPECTS CHILD AB-- USE OR NEGLECT MUST REPORT IT IMMEDIATELY. THE REPORT MAY BE MADE TO (1) ANY LOCAL OR STATE LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY; OR (2) THE DEPARTMENT OF FAMILY AND PROTECTIVE SERVICES.
The Hidalgo County Criminal District Attorney’s Office has attorneys assigned to represent the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS, formerly CPS) for child protection cases in Hidalgo County. Legal representation is provided for cases where DFPS has determined that abuse and/or neglect of a child has occurred. These attorneys work with child protection staff to determine what legal intervention is appropriate.
When legal intervention is necessary, a petition is filed seeking to name DFPS as conservators of the child. Once DFPS is named a conservator of a child, the lawsuit will remain pending for 12 – 18 months.
Outcomes of child welfare cases vary depending on a host of factors. Using a mixture of litigation as well as formal mediations, final outcomes may include the following:
• return to the parents,
• permanent custody to relatives, or
• termination of parental rights with custody to the State.
To report child abuse and/or neglect call 1-800-252-5400 or go to:
Calls to the Abuse Hotline are toll-free 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, nationwide. If you have an
emergency, call 911.