Protecting the children
To report child abuse or neglect call 1-800-252-5400
Our lawyers represent the state in court in cases involving child abuse and neglect.
These cases begin with a report from a concerned citizen, teacher, police officer, doctor, and even family members reporting suspected physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, physical neglect, medical neglect, or abandonment. The report is forwarded to a Children’s Protective Services (CPS) investigator. The investigator will interview the child, parents and others who may know about the family. If the investigator finds that there is abuse or neglect, the parents may be required to make changes or the child may be removed from the home.
A number of options are available in court. The goal is to ensure that children live in a stable, nurturing environment and do not remain in foster care. The child may be returned home if the parents have completed their service plan. The child may be placed with a relative or friend. The child may be permanently removed from the parents and placed in a stable, loving home.
The County Attorney’s Office filed 1,100 child abuse and neglect cases in 2009 and carries an average of 3,400 pending cases. At any given time, approximately 5,000 children are in protective custody. Last year 1,866 children were taken into CPS custody and 973 in CPS care were legally adopted.
Investigator Larry Fox and County Attorney Vince Ryan are surrounded by some of the stuffed
animals the Office of the County Attorney gives to children we help.
The Harris County Attorney’s Office is the largest public law firm in the state of Texas helping abused and neglected children. The lawyers in the Protective Services Division handle cases involving child abuse and neglect. Attorneys in the division also work with numerous groups to provide outreach and educational programs about grandparent’s rights, the mediation process, and training court-appointed attorneys and caseworkers.
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