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5560 Involuntary and Voluntary Termination of Parental Rights

CPS December 2013

Termination of parental rights is a serious outcome in a CPS case. Following termination, the parent and child no longer have a legal relationship. Conversely, terminating parental rights is a prerequisite to adoption and broadens the array of permanency outcomes available to the child.

Whether termination is voluntary or involuntary, it is weighed seriously for each parent and child. In general, if DFPS pursues termination, it does so on both parents.

In rare circumstances, after conferring with the attorney representing DFPS, DFPS may determine that termination on only one parent is appropriate because one parent is such a danger to the health and safety of the child that legal avenues to the child must be closed.

In assessing best interest, caseworkers always bear in mind the emotional effect that termination may have on a child.

Federal law requires that DFPS request termination of parental rights if a child has been in foster care for 15 of the last 22 months, unless certain exceptions apply.

42 U.S.C. §675(5)(E)

In most counties, DFPS requests termination of parental rights as an alternative in the original petition filed at the time of removal. This puts the parents on notice from the beginning of the case that if the problems that lead to removal are not resolved, DFPS may ask the court to terminate parental rights.

Ultimately, if the parent’s performance in establishing a safe home for the child is inadequate, DFPS may consider asking the court to set a final hearing at which DFPS seeks termination of parental rights.

5561 Procedures for Terminating Parental Rights

CPS December 2013

Before DFPS asks the court to terminate parental rights, the child’s caseworker must confer with:

  •  the supervisor and the program director;

  •  the county or district attorney or other attorney representing DFPS in the case; and

  •  the regional attorney, when necessary to resolve special questions.

5561.1 Providing Services to the Parents

CPS December 2013

Even if the parent has executed an affidavit of relinquishment of parental rights, the caseworker continues to provide services to the parents, unless:

  •  there is a finding of aggravated circumstances; or

  •  the court has rendered an order terminating the parent’s rights.

The caseworker consults with the attorney representing DFPS about best how to structure services for parents, depending on the circumstances of the case.

See also:

6200 Permanency Planning in Substitute Care

6400 Services to Parents and Caregivers

5561.2 Searching for Missing Parents

CPS December 2013

If either or both of a child’s legal parents are missing, the child’s caseworker must conduct a diligent search for them, as specified in 5223 Exercising Due Diligence to Locate Missing Parents and Other Relatives.

5562 Voluntary Termination of Parental Rights

5562.1 Circumstances in Which Voluntary Termination of Parental Rights May Be Appropriate

CPS December 2013

DFPS does not accept voluntary relinquishments of parental rights as a means for children to enter DFPS conservatorship. For a child to enter DFPS conservatorship, DFPS must determine that there are grounds to remove the child, as described in 2500 Removing a Child From the Home and its subitems.

If, in the course of a conservatorship case, a parent decides to voluntarily give up his or her parental rights, the caseworker pursues an affidavit of relinquishment only if:

  •  the parent voluntarily wishes to permanently discontinue the parent-child relationship; and

  •  permanently discontinuing the parent-child relationship is in the child’s best interest.

Texas Family Code §161.103

If a child is a Native American child, as defined in the Indian Child Welfare Act, the parent (including a parent who is not a Native American) must follow the specific procedures for relinquishing parental rights in court as explained in 5844 Legal Requirements If the ICWA Applies.

While the parent’s consent to the child’s adoption is no longer legally necessary once parental rights are terminated, it is also important that the parent understands that:

  •  the child may be placed for adoption;

  •  an adopted child has new legal parents; and

  •  DFPS no longer provides reunification services to the parent of an adopted child.

DFPS Rules, 40 TAC §700.1104

5562.2 Requirements for Termination of Parental Rights Based on a Voluntary Affidavit of Relinquishment

CPS December 2013

The affidavit of relinquishment of parental rights is irrevocable and must comply with:

  •  the requirements of §161.103 of the Texas Family Code; and

  •  any additional specifications of the attorney handling the case.

If the voluntary relinquishment results from either informal or formal mediation, the caseworker must ensure that the applicable requirements explained in 5573 Agreeing to Accept DFPS Conservatorship Without Termination of Parental Rights are followed.

In particular, the caseworker must ensure that:

  •  the affidavit is not the result of fraud, duress, or coercion; and

  •  the parent is free of undue pressure to relinquish parental rights, as described in 5574.3 Parent Must Not Be Pressured to Relinquish Parental Rights.

The court must hold a hearing and order termination of parental rights to the child based on:

  •  the affidavit of voluntary relinquishment; and

  •  a finding that termination is in the child’s best interest.

Texas Family Code, §261.001

5563 Involuntary Termination of Parental Rights

CPS December 2013

In most cases, DFPS requests termination of parental rights at the time of removal, as an alternative to be pursued only if family reunification does not succeed. Later in the case, the caseworker decides whether termination of parental rights is an appropriate goal for a child.

Determining whether termination is appropriate is complex, and the outcome has far-reaching consequences.

A caseworker considers the issue by:

  •  carefully reviewing the guidance on termination of parental rights, as explained in 5560 Involuntary and Voluntary Termination of Parental Rights; and

  •  carefully reviewing the entire case file;

  •  following up to obtain any missing information (such as, the disposition of a criminal case and the recommendations of therapists, the guardian ad litem, and the attorney ad litem); and

  •  confers with the supervisor and attorney representing DFPS.

The caseworker also considers:

  •  whether the parent presents a threat to the child’s safety and stability, if rights are not terminated;

  •  whether adoption is in the child’s best interest;

  •  whether there are grounds for termination; and

  •  whether the case was mediated and an agreement could not be met.

5564 The Legal Basis for Termination of Parental Rights

CPS December 2013

If termination of one or both parent’s rights is a permanency goal, it is essential that the caseworker confer with the attorney representing DFPS to assess whether there is sufficient evidence to support termination.

In addition to evidence that termination is in the child’s best interest, as discussed in 5565 The Child’s Best Interest in Regard to Terminating Parental Rights, there must be evidence of at least one ground for termination. The attorney representing DFPS decides which of the many grounds for termination of parental rights to use in each specific case. While only one termination ground is necessary, lawyers typically plead and prove more than one ground to increase the likelihood of success at trial or on appeal.

The caseworker’s role is to be able to:

  •  understand and be able to explain the facts and evidence; and

  •  identify and follow up on any missing information.

A basic understanding of the grounds for termination of parental rights makes the process easier. For an overview of some of the conduct and circumstances used to support the grounds for termination of parental rights, see the items under the following:

5564.1 Grounds for Termination of Parental Rights

5564.2 Additional Grounds for Termination of Parental Rights

5564.1 Grounds for Termination of Parental Rights
5564.11 Endangerment

CPS December 2013

The most common grounds for termination of parental rights are exposing a child to conduct or an environment that endangers the physical or emotional well-being of the child. See Texas Family Code §161.001(D),(E).

Many types of conduct that create safety hazards for children can contribute to a finding of endangerment, including:

  •  substance abuse;

  •  criminal acts;

  •  exposing a child to sexual predators; and

  •  failing to attend to a child’s basic needs (food, clothing, medical attention, and supervision).

Much of the conduct described in other grounds for termination (such as abandonment and criminal activity) also supports a finding of endangerment.

If a parent’s rights were previously terminated on the grounds explained in §161.001 (D) or (E) (or their equivalent in another state), that is also a ground for termination of parental rights.

Texas Family Code §161.001(D),(E), and (M)

5564.12 Abandonment

CPS December 2013

There are seven grounds for termination of parental rights because of abandonment.

The following factors can affect which, if any, of the grounds for abandonment might apply:

  •  The place where a child is left

  •  How long a parent is gone

  •  What the parent said (or did not say) when leaving the child

  •  Whether the mother is pregnant when a father leaves

  •  Whether the parent provides for the child during the time the child is left.

A specific abandonment ground is applicable in the case of a child left safely at a designated emergency infant care provider (that is, a Baby Moses case).

The constructive abandonment referenced in §161.001(N) does not refer to a parent physically leaving a child behind, but rather to the failure of a parent of a child in foster care to:

  •  stay in contact with the child; and

  •  take steps to provide the child with a safe environment.

Texas Family Code §161.001(A),(B),(C),(G),(H),(N),(S)

5564.13 Failure to Support a Child

CPS December 2013

A parent’s failure to support a child to the extent of the parent’s ability for at least one year ending within six months of the filing of the petition for termination is a ground for termination of parental rights.

Texas Family Code §161.001(F)

Failure to support is difficult to prove. DFPS must show that the parent had the ability to provide support during this period, even if there is no court order requiring payment of child support.

5564.14 Criminal Activity and Imprisonment

CPS December 2013

Certain specific conduct that cause death or serious injury to a child and results in criminal or delinquency proceedings against the perpetrator are grounds for termination of parental rights.

The specific conduct includes:

  •  murder;

  •  certain sexual crimes;

  •  assault;

  •  child endangerment; and

  •  child trafficking.

Other related grounds for termination are:

  •  knowingly engaging in criminal conduct that results in imprisonment for at least two years from the date of the filing of the petition, along with proof of an inability to care for the child; or

  •  conviction for the murder of a child’s other parent (or the attempted murder or solicitation of murder).

Texas Family Code §161.001(L),(Q)

5564.15 Court-Ordered Service Plan

CPS December 2013

A parent’s failure for at least nine months to comply with a court-ordered service plan that specifies the actions necessary to regain custody of a child in DFPS care is a ground for termination.

Texas Family Code §161.001(O)

5564.16 Drug Use

CPS December 2013

Using controlled substances in a way that endangers a child, coupled with failure to complete court-ordered treatment or continued use, is a ground for termination.

Causing a child to be born addicted to alcohol or a controlled substance (other than a prescribed medication) is a ground for termination of parental rights.

Texas Family Code §161.001(P),(R)

5564.17 Alleged Father

CPS December 2013

The grounds for terminating the parental rights of an alleged father are if the alleged father:

  •  fails to register with the paternity registry (or update his address on the registry), or

  •  fails to claim paternity after being served with a termination petition.

Before terminating parental rights, the caseworker must conduct a diligent search for:

  •  the alleged father who is most likely to be the biological father; and

  •  other relatives.

Texas Family Code §161.002

5564.18 Mental Illness

CPS December 2013

It is a ground for termination of parental rights: if:

  •  a parent has a mental or emotional illness that makes the parent unable to provide for the child’s physical, emotional, and mental needs; and  

  •  the illness will, in all reasonable probability, continue until the child’s 18th birthday.

Texas Family Code §161.003

5564.19 Relinquishment

CPS December 2013

A parent’s decision to give up parental rights voluntarily, based on a full understanding of the legal consequences and evidenced by a written document signed by the parent that conforms to specific formalities, is a ground for termination of parental rights.

Texas Family Code §161.001(K)

5564.2 Additional Grounds for Termination of Parental Rights

CPS December 2013

Grounds for termination that are rarely used include:

  •  stubborn refusal to submit to a reasonable court order under Chapter 261 of the Family Code; and

  •  being the major cause of a child either not being enrolled in school or being away from home for a substantial length of time without the parent’s or guardian’s consent and without an intent to return.

Texas Family Code §161.001(I),(J)

5565 The Child’s Best Interest in Regard to Terminating Parental Rights

CPS December 2013

For specific factors used in assessing what is in the best interest of a child, see 5210 The Child’s Best Interest.

In the context of termination of parental rights, it is essential to remember that whether termination is involuntary or voluntary, what is in the best interest of a child must be proved by clear and convincing evidence.

It is not sufficient in deciding to terminate rights that a ground for termination exists. Termination must also be in the child’s best interest, as a stand-alone consideration that must take into account the emotional consequences that can result to a child from termination.

5570 Mediation and Other Forms of Dispute Resolution

CPS December 2013

Dispute resolution is an alternative to resolving a case through litigation in court.

It is a nonadversarial, problem-solving process to:

  •  resolve existing or potential disputes; or

  •  mitigate the negative effects of such disputes.

The process of dispute resolution means that the parties communicate their positions, clarify the facts, discuss the issues, develop options for settlement, and often negotiate a final resolution.

Mediation is the most formal process of dispute resolution, but any meeting or telephone conference that is held outside the court and is an attempt by the parties to resolve either a single issue or the entire case is also a way to resolve disputes.

5571 Requirements for Mediations and Other Dispute Resolutions

CPS December 2013

Whether the caseworker participates in a court-ordered mediation or confers with the parties on the telephone, the resulting agreement may be binding on DFPS and may become an order of the court.

The court may only modify the resulting agreement in limited circumstances; therefore, any resulting agreement must:

  •  ensure the child’s safety;

  •  be in the child’s best interest;

  •  not create barriers to achieving the child’s permanency goal; and

  •  comply with the applicable requirements in 5572.1 Court-Ordered Mediation or 5572.2 Other Forms of Dispute Resolution.

5572 Types of Mediation

CPS December 2013

There are two types of mediation in which DFPS staff participate:

  •  formal, court-ordered mediation; and

  •  other forms of dispute resolution, as well as any associated requirements.

See the items under the following:

5572.1 Court-Ordered Mediation

5572.2 Other Forms of Dispute Resolution

5572.1 Court-Ordered Mediation
5572.11 Overview of Court-Ordered Mediation

CPS December 2013

A court-ordered mediation:

  •  is ordered by the court;

  •  may be requested by any party to the suit;

  •  is prearranged, structured, and formal;

  •  is facilitated by a neutral party, referred to as a mediator; and

  •  may occur at any time during a conservatorship case, though it occurs more frequently in anticipation of a final order.

An agreement reached during formal mediation is referred to as a mediated settlement agreement. It is binding on the parties and is entered as an order by the court.

Due to the confidential nature of a court-ordered mediation, information learned during the mediation may not be introduced in court as evidence at any subsequent hearing. If new allegations of abuse or neglect are disclosed during the mediation, the new allegations must be reported as required by the Texas Family Code.

5572.12 Who Must Attend Court-Ordered Mediation

CPS December 2013

The caseworker and the caseworker’s supervisor must attend all mediations.

The following persons must be notified about the mediation:

  •  The caseworker assigned to the case

  •  All parties to the suit, including but not limited to:

  •  the child’s biological mother,

  •  the child’s biological father,

  •  the child’s presumed and alleged father (if listed as a legal party to the case),

  •  any person named as possessory conservator,

  •  any person who may have intervened in the suit,

  •  all attorneys appointed to the suit, and

  •  the child’s court appointed special advocate (CASA) or an individual appointed as guardian ad litem

  •  Any person who is not a party may be named in the mediated agreement, such as a relative or fictive kin (referred to as a kinship caregiver) who is seeking permanent managing conservatorship of the child.

5572.13 When a Named Person Cannot Attend Court-Ordered Mediation

CPS December 2013

If a person who is named in the agreement but is not a party to the suit is unable to attend mediation, the caseworker:

  •  speaks with that person before or during the mediation to discuss any recommendations that will affect the person; and

  •  obtains information from that person before DFPS enters the mediated agreement affecting that individual.

For example, when the parties in a case have identified a relative or fictive kin (such as close family friends) to be named as permanent managing conservator, but the relative or kin has not yet been named as a party to the suit, the caseworker must obtain a response from that relative or kin before DFPS enters the mediated agreement.

5572.2 Other Forms of Dispute Resolution

CPS December 2013

Often the parties in a conservatorship case resolve issues:  

  •  in a less formal setting; and

  •  without a mediator.

5572.21 Overview of Other Forms of Dispute Resolution

CPS December 2013

The parties of a dispute may confer in an informal setting with a mediator to:

  •  reach an agreement on an individual matter in a case; or

  •  resolve the entire case.

These informal settlement conferences may take place in any setting, such as by telephone or at the courthouse outside the presence of the judge.

Once the attorneys and parties reach an agreement on some or all of the issues, the agreement becomes an order of the court. This agreement is often called a Rule 11 Agreement.

To be entered into the orders of the court, a Rule 11 Agreement must be:

  •  made in writing, signed by the attorneys and parties, and filed with the court; or

  •  made verbally by the attorneys and parties in open court and entered into the record.

5572.22 Requirements Before Entering Into an Agreement in an Informal Mediation

CPS December 2013

The conservatorship caseworker must seek supervisor approval before agreeing to a Rule 11 Agreement or any other informal mediation agreement. For the definition of a Rule 11 Agreement, see 5572.21 Overview of Other Forms of Dispute Resolution.

If the case has not yet been transferred to the conservatorship unit, the removal caseworker must confer with the conservatorship caseworker and supervisor before entering into any such agreement.

The caseworker and supervisor must ensure that any person who is not a party to the suit is consulted about, and agrees to the terms of, any agreement that would affect him or her.

5573 Agreeing to Accept DFPS Conservatorship Without Termination of Parental Rights

CPS December 2013

Any agreement to make DFPS the permanent managing conservator (PMC) without terminating the parent’s rights requires advance approval of the program director. Discussions about whether it is an acceptable outcome that the caseworker can agree to, as well as any other discussions about permissible outcomes, must occur before the mediation.

In the rare circumstance that permanent managing conservatorship without termination of parental rights is first proposed unexpectedly during mediation, the caseworker or supervisor must contact the program director for approval.

Before recommending that DFPS be named as permanent managing conservator without termination of parental rights, the caseworker does as follows:

  •  Reviews the permanency goals for the child (see 6200 Permanency Planning in Substitute Care) to identify the goal that is in the child’s best interest;

  •  Keeps in mind that adoption is the preferred goal when a child cannot return home, and that a child with a legal status of permanent managing conservatorship to DFPS without termination of the rights of both parent is not eligible for adoption;

  •  Reviews the grounds for termination of parental rights (see 5564 The Legal Basis for Termination of Parental Rights and Texas Family Code Chapter 161 Subchapter A Grounds) to determine which, if any, grounds for termination are applicable;

  •  Reviews with the attorney representing DFPS any applicable grounds for termination; and

  •  Ensures that the terms of the mediated agreement do not interfere with attaining the permanency goals set for the child. See 5574 Actions Prohibited When Negotiating for Conservatorship.

5574 Actions Prohibited When Negotiating for Conservatorship

CPS December 2013

When negotiating with parents who are being asked to terminate their parental rights, caseworkers are prohibited from taking certain actions.

See:

5574.1 The Termination of Parental Rights Agreement Must Comply With Law, Rule, and Policy

5574.2 Visitation May Not Be Used to Encourage Agreement to Termination of Parental Rights

5574.3 Parent Must Not Be Pressured to Relinquish Parental Rights

5574.4 An Agreement to Relinquish Parental Rights Must Reflect a Child’s Permanency Goals

5574.5 Joint Managing Conservatorship and Mediation

5574.1 The Termination of Parental Rights Agreement Must Comply With Law, Rule, and Policy

CPS December 2013

Caseworkers must not enter into an agreement on behalf of DFPS that violates federal or state law and regulations, the minimum standard rules, or DFPS policy.

Prohibited actions include the following:

  •  Caseworkers must not agree to place a child in a placement if there is not a current, approved kinship home assessment or foster or adoptive home screening in place.

  •  Caseworkers must not guarantee to provide an adoption subsidy or permanency care assistance (PCA). Caseworkers may agree to pursue such funding as options, but cannot guarantee that a family will qualify for and receive the funding.

5574.2 Visitation May Not Be Used to Encourage Agreement to Termination of Parental Rights

CPS December 2013

Caseworkers must not leverage parent or child visitation as a condition to encourage parents to agree to the terms of a mediated agreement.

Factors to consider for visitation include the following:

  •  Visitation is a right of both the child and parent. Decisions regarding visitation must be based solely on the child’s safety and the best interests of the child. A caseworker agrees to visitation as part of a mediated settlement only if he or she believes that visitation is safe for the child. The caseworker does not agree to visitation if he or she does not believe that visitation is safe.

  •  Visitation must not interfere with achieving the child’s permanency goals, including preparing the child to enter into a permanent living situation, such as adoption. 5574.4 An Agreement to Relinquish Parental Rights Must Reflect a Child’s Permanency Goals.

5574.3 Parent Must Not Be Pressured to Relinquish Parental Rights

CPS December 2013

Caseworkers must not seek relinquishment of a parent’s rights through fraud, duress, or coercion. The parent must be free of pressure to relinquish parental rights.

Texas Family Code §161.211(c)

Prohibited actions include the following:

  •  Caseworkers must not agree to a placement preferred by the parent in exchange for the parent’s relinquishment of parental rights.

  •  Caseworkers must not return one child to the parent in exchange for relinquishing parental rights to another child.

  •  Caseworkers must not ask the parent to sign a relinquishment of parental rights to be held for future termination, contingent on the parent’s performance of certain acts.

  •  Caseworkers must not imply or make statements to the parents about potential criminal consequences. Such consequences are speculative and outside the purview of DFPS.

DFPS may agree in good faith to make efforts to achieve an identified goal (such as placing a child with a relative), but cannot make a binding commitment.

5574.4 An Agreement to Relinquish Parental Rights Must Reflect a Child’s Permanency Goals

CPS December 2013

Caseworkers must not agree to terms that interfere with achieving the permanency goals established for the child.

Prohibited actions include the following:

  •  Caseworkers must not require actions to be completed by the parties without also providing the dates by which the actions must be completed.

  •  Caseworkers must not agree to forego future child support when support is appropriate and when it may later be relevant to determining whether to terminate parental rights.

  •  Caseworkers must not allow a parent to maintain a level of involvement with the child that would interfere with the child moving on emotionally and achieving his or her permanency goal (for example, the caseworker does not continue visitation with the parents until the child is adopted).

  •  Caseworkers must not fail to clearly identify the responsibilities of the parties involved.

5574.5 Joint Managing Conservatorship and Mediation

CPS December 2013

During mediation, caseworkers must not agree to share managing conservatorship with another person or entity – barring extraordinary circumstances.

If a caseworker determines that there are extenuating circumstances that warrant shared managing conservatorship, the caseworker:

  •  discusses the option with the attorney for DFPS;

  •  obtains approval from the supervisor and program director; and

  •  ensures that the mediated settlement agreement includes an acknowledgment by any foster parents in the case that, during the shared conservatorship, the foster parents may no longer be eligible for foster care maintenance payments.

DFPS Rules, 40 TAC §700.1031(d)

5575 Consideration of Sibling Groups

CPS December 2013

When a sibling group is involved, consideration must be given to what is in the best interest of each child. Efforts must be made to place siblings together.

If it is necessary to separate siblings to achieve the appropriate permanency goal for an individual child, the child must be allowed ongoing contact with the other siblings, unless the caseworker determines that ongoing contact is not safe.

See 4113 Select Appropriate Placement Category and Follow Process.

5580 Placement Review Hearings for Children Under Permanent DFPS Conservatorship

5581 The Purpose of a Placement Review Hearing

CPS December 2013

The court holds placement review hearings for each child who is under the permanent managing conservatorship of DFPS.

The specific content of the placement review hearing is discussed in Appendix 5581: Requirements for the Court in a Placement Review Hearing. In general, however, the purpose of the review is to:

  •  review the legal status of the child (that is, review DFPS’s role as the permanent managing conservator of the child);

  •  consider whether DFPS has taken actions to achieve permanency for the child; and

  •  review other information central to the child’s safety, permanency goal, and well-being.

Texas Family Code §§263.002, 263.503

Placement review hearings also fulfill the federal requirements for conducting reviews every six months and permanency hearings annually, while a child is in the permanent managing conservatorship of DFPS.

For information about the federal requirements, see 42 USC §675(5)(B)(C).

5582 Meeting the Time Frames for Holding a Placement Review Hearing

CPS December 2013

If DFPS has been named in a final court order as a child’s permanent managing conservator, the court must hold a placement review hearing every six months until DFPS is no longer the permanent managing conservator (either because the child is adopted, leaves DFPS conservatorship for the managing conservatorship of another individual, or becomes an adult).

If all parental rights have been terminated, the first placement review hearing must take place no later than 90 days after the court appoints DFPS as the managing conservator. Subsequent reviews are held every six months, thereafter, as they are in cases in which parental rights have not been terminated.

Texas Family Code §§263.501, 263.503

5583 Filing a Placement Review Report With the Court and Parties

CPS December 2013

No later than 10 days before the date set for each placement review hearing, the caseworker:

  •  files the placement review report with the court; and

  •  provides a copy of the placement review report to the following, unless the court orders that the report be provided within a different time period:

  •  Each party

  •  The child’s attorney ad litem

  •  The child’s guardian ad litem

  •  The child’s volunteer advocate

Texas Family Code §263.502(a)

5584 Notice Requirements for Placement Review Hearings

CPS December 2013

The caseworker notifies the following persons and entities about the placement review hearing by completing Form 2052 Placement Hearing Notice Letter and sending it to the following persons at least 10 days before the hearing:

  •  DFPS staff

  •  The child, if the child is over the age of 10 or the court determines that it is appropriate for the child to receive notice

  •  The foster parent, potential adoptive parent, relative providing care, or director of the group home or institution where the child lives

  •  Each parent of the child (as long as parental rights have not been terminated)

  •  Each parent’s attorney

  •  Each possessory conservator, managing conservator, or guardian of the child (other than DFPS)

  •  The child’s attorney ad litem, guardian ad litem, and volunteer advocate, if the appointments have not been dismissed

  •  The licensed administrator of the child-placing agency (CPA) responsible for verifying or supervising the foster home where the child is placed. The caseworker sends the notice to the administrator in care of or C/O the child’s CPA case manager

  •  Any other person or agency named by the court or determined by DFPS to have an interest in the child’s welfare

Texas Family Code §263.501

DFPS Rules, 40 TAC §700.1102

Because the person responsible for providing notice varies across jurisdictions, it is the caseworker’s responsibility to either:

  •  send the notice; or

  •  consult with the attorney representing DFPS,  if the caseworker is not certain whether who is responsible for providing notice.

5585 Meeting the Content Requirements for a Placement Review Report

CPS December 2013

Unless a court requires a different format, DFPS uses Form 2088b Placement Review Report to file a report.

The form provides fields for entering the content required by federal law, state law, and DFPS policy, including the requirement in the Texas Family Code 153.375 about receiving from a managing conservator an annual report about the child’s status.

The various requirements that are addressed in Form 2088b are explained in Appendix 5585: Legal Requirements Relevant to the Placement Review Report.

5586 Obtaining Approval of a Placement Review Report

CPS December 2013

After a caseworker completes a placement review report:

  •  the supervisor must approve the report; and

  •  both the supervisor and the caseworker must sign it.

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