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How are Child Abuse Cases Investigated?

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In Texas, Child Protective Services (CPS) is responsible for overseeing all investigations of child abuse. These investigations are often initiated after school counselors, healthcare workers or mental health providers make reports as to suspected incidents. After receiving such a report, the agency is required by law to conduct an investigation in short order, normally within 24 to 48 hours in most cases.

CPS Investigations

Since an investigation is required to happen rather quickly, often times it is only a preliminary inquiry into the matter in order to determine if children are in immediate danger. If CPS officials feel child welfare is being compromised, they may then take steps to ensure his or her safety. Their goal is to provide safety for the child in the home first before removing that child from it.

If removal is necessary, a more detailed investigation will likely be performed later. Workers may talk to friends, neighbors, and other family members in order to make a final determination in addition to checking school or medical records. Investigators will attempt to determine what if any measures could be taken to reconcile the child and parent. In some instances, they will recommend that criminal charges be filed due to extreme neglect or abuse.

CPS Actions

When CPS is called due to sexual abuse, agents are required by law to collaborate with police from the very beginning. In addition, the scope of an investigation changes somewhat, as the primary concern is no longer on allowing the child to remain in the home, but instead to find a way to prevent any further contact from happening while also determining whether or not criminal charges should be filed.

Child Abuse Medical Examinations

A medical examination is typically performed whenever a sex offense is suspected. This is done in order to gather evidence that could be used in court in addition to help validate a victim’s claim. The results of this medical exam is often used to determine the scope of criminal charges should a prosecutor deem it necessary to file them.

If you were accused of committing child abuse, give Brett Podolsky a call at 713-227-0087

Discuss your case


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