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Texas Divorce and Prenuptial Agreement

4550 Post Oak Place, Suite 201 • Houston, Texas 77027-3139

Phone: 713-877-8800 • Fax: 713-877-1229

Child Protective Services Central Registry Casts a Wide Net

Monday’s post discussed aggressive actions taken by Texas Child Protective Services (“CPS”) that resulted in a judge’s sanctioning the agency. Today we discuss another problem that often arises in dealing with CPS in Texas – its central registry that operates outside of the law.

The Texas CPS central registry is a list of some 500,000 Texans whom CPS considers have sexually abused or physically harmed a child. Child welfare workers and employment agencies use the list when deciding whether a person can work in a position that involves children.

The central registry is not for convicted criminals, though. About 6,000 on the list are children themselves between the ages of 10 and 17. It is the Texas CPS that determines who goes on the list, but the process is less than thorough. As of now, there is no appeals process or evidentiary hearing to evaluate whether someone deserves to be placed the registry. And, as some Texans have found out, if you find yourself illegitimately on the registry, getting off the list is easier said than done.

It takes at least five years for your name to “expire” from the registry on its own. If you wish to fight your inclusion on the list in the first place, you can appeal to the Texas CPS, but it generally takes years to obtain a decision, and, even then, only a third are successful in having their names removed from the registry.

As you might expect, the consequences of appearing on the registry are severe. You cannot serve as a foster or adoptive parent, and you will likely have trouble finding work. Are you or anyone you know facing a negative decision from Child Protective Services? If so, you may wish to learn how to protect your rights from a Houston child custody lawyer.

John K. Grubb & Associates, P.C. – Houston divorce attorneys

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