Texas dependency court case scenario
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Texas Dependency Court Case Scenario. Involuntary Termination Of Parental Rights. A Child’s Journey Through the Texas Courts. Scenario. The purpose of this scenario is to show the sequence of events that occur during a child protection case and the data collected during this process.

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Texas Dependency Court Case Scenario

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Texas dependency court case scenario

Texas Dependency Court Case Scenario

Involuntary Termination

Of

Parental Rights

A Child’s Journey Through the Texas Courts


Scenario

Scenario

  • The purpose of this scenario is to show the sequence of events that occur during a child protection case and the data collected during this process.

  • When children are removed from the possession of parents, there is a statutorily mandated timeline with various hearings that must occur. This is represented by the timeline on left side of this presentation.

  • This scenario begins with the filing of a report of abuse or neglect.


Case history

Case History

  • Mary and Sam Jones have two sons, Sam, Jr. and John.

  • Mary and Sam neglected Sam, Jr. and their parental rights were terminated. Mary’s parents adopted Sam, Jr.

  • Mary and Sam divorced and Mary now lives with her boyfriend, Joe Jackson; they have a son, David. David is prescribed antidepressants for a medical condition.

  • Mary and Joe have been reported to DFPS for abusing John and David.

  • DFPS has filed a petition for the removal of both children.


Petition

Petition

This is an example of a petition for a suit affecting the parent-child relationship (SAPCR).

When the suit is filed by the prosecuting attorney a case is opened in the court.


Collect data person information

Collect Data – Person Information

  • Mary

    • Last Name - Jones

    • First Name – Mary Lynn

    • Alias - Mary

    • Middle Name – Louise

    • Address – 123 Avenue A

    • City – Fort Worth

    • County – Tarrant

    • State – Texas

    • Zip Code - 99999

    • Birth Date – 4/13/1978

    • Sex – Female

    • Telephone No. – 555-5555

    • Service Date – 12/14/2006

    • Role - Mother

Relationships to Mary:

Child Parent – Sam Jones, Jr.

Child Parent – John Jones

Child-Parent – David Jackson

Divorced – Sam Jones, Sr.

Romantic Interest – Joe Jackson


Collect data person information1

Collect Data – Person Information

  • David

    • Last Name - Jackson

    • First Name – David

    • Middle Name – Lance

    • Address– 123 Avenue A

    • City – Fort Worth

    • County – Tarrant

    • State – Texas

    • Zip Code - 99999

    • Birth Date – 6/13/1998

    • Sex – Male

    • Telephone Number – 555-5555

    • ICWA – No

    • Interpreter Needed – Yes

    • Medications – Ativan, Prozac

    • Role - Child


Conservatorship case non emergency removal hearing

Conservatorship CaseNon-Emergency Removal Hearing

  • Mary and Joe are served with the petition.

  • A Non-Emergency Removal Hearing is held.

  • The judge hears testimony regarding the facts alleged in the DFPS affidavit, and from the other parties and any witnesses.

  • The judge orders removal of the children from the home; they are to be placed in foster care.

  • An Attorney ad litem (AAL) and a Guardian ad litem (GAL) is appointed for the children.

  • The judge orders temporary managing conservatorship (TMC) to DFPS.

  • The timeline starts on the day the children are removed.

  • An Adversary Hearing is set for no later than the 14th day after the children are removed.


Collect data case information

Collect Data – Case Information

  • Case

    • Cause Number – 123-456

    • Style – ITIO Jones/Jackson children

    • County of Jurisdiction – Tarrant

    • Court – 999th District Court

    • Administrative Judicial Region – Region 8

    • Filing Date – 12/14/2006

    • Case Type – Conservatorship

    • Related Case(s) – 4325678 – TPR Sam Jones Jr.

    • Originating Court – 111th District Court

    • DFPS Region – Region 3


Adversary hearing

Adversary Hearing

  • The Adversary Hearing is held; considering the DFPS testimony and the affidavit describing the facts, the judge determines there is danger in sending the children home and that it is in their best interest not to return.

  • The parents commit to working with DFPS to have their children returned.

  • Joe tells the court that he doesn’t know whether he is David’s father. The judge orders a paternity test for Joe.

  • The judge asks if Mary and Joe can afford an attorney; neither are working and they submit an Affidavit of Indigency.

  • The judge appoints an attorney to represent Mary; however, Joe is not appointed an attorney until the paternity test results are received.


Adversary hearing cont

Adversary Hearing (cont.)

  • Mary reports she cannot find John’s father, Sam, Sr.; Mary also reports that her parents want to take both boys.

  • Neither child is ICWA eligible and the judge orders continued TMC to DFPS and placement with the grandparents pending a home study.

  • The judge informs the parents that failure to provide a safe home for the children could result in their parental rights being restricted or terminated.

  • The Status Hearing is set for no later than the 60th day after TMC.


Example of court records

Example of Court Records

Affidavit of Indigency

Paternity Test Order

DFPS Sworn Affidavit


Update data adversary hearing

Update Data - Adversary Hearing

  • John

    • Permanency Plan – Family Reunification

    • Placement – Relative

  • David

    • Permanency Plan – Family Reunification

    • Placement – Relative

    • Order (Child-Parent) – Paternity Testing Order


Status hearing

Status Hearing

  • The Status Hearing is held.

  • The paternity test proves Joe is the father of David; the judge appoints Mary’s attorney to represent Joe.

  • The CASA reports David is doing fine at the grandparents home, but John spends most of his time at the apartment of his brother, Sam, Jr.; both John and David are doing well in school.

  • DFPS submits the medical summary for the children; reports that neither Mary nor Joe have participated in any of the services recommended in the Service Plan.

  • The judge reviews and approves the Service Plan.

  • The judge informs the parents that non-compliance could result in restriction or termination of their parental rights.

  • The Initial Permanency Hearing is set for no later than 180 days after TMC.


Summary of children s medical care

Summary of Children’s Medical Care

Example of the Summary of Children’s Medical Care Document submitted by the Department


Initial permanency hearing

Initial Permanency Hearing

  • The Initial Permanency Hearing is held; Mary attends but Joe does not; Mary’s leg is broken and she needs a wheelchair to get in and out of court.

  • The CASA reports David has settled in and is happy to be living with his grandparents. John has a part-time job and wants to move in with Sam, Jr.; Both John and David are doing great in school and are healthy.

  • DFPS confirms they have exercised due diligence in trying to find John’s father and have served him by publication.

  • DFPS reports very little participation in the Service Plan on Mary’s part and Joe has not complied at all; Joe has been drunk and gone to Mary’s parent’s house several times and aggressively demanded to see David.

  • Mary still contends that she will do anything she must to get her children back, but Joe has told her he will leave her if the boys return.


Initial permanency hearing cont

Initial Permanency Hearing (cont.)

  • The judge tells Mary that if Joe does not participate in services, he will have to leave the home permanently in order for her to regain custody of the children.

  • Mary files a motion for a protective order to restrain Joe from going to her or to her parents home and to protect her and her children; Joe is flagged as a security risk.

  • The judge notifies Mary that she must not let Joe return and she must comply with the Service Plan or her parental rights could be restricted or terminated.

  • The judge orders DFPS to provide services for transition to independent living for John. He’s 17, doing well in school, has a job, and seems to be able to take care of himself. DFPS will update John’s Permanency Plan.

  • The Permanency Hearing is set for no later than 120th day after the Initial Permanency Hearing.

  • The Final Hearing is set for the Monday after the first anniversary of the Department being granted TMC.


Protective order application

Protective Order Application

Example of the application for a protective order submitted by Mary to have Joe removed from her home.


Update data initial permanency hearing

Update Data - Initial Permanency Hearing

  • John

    • Permanency Plan – Independent Living

    • Placement – Relative

  • Joe

    • Security Risk – Yes

  • Mary

    • Special Accessibility Needed - Yes


Permanency hearing

Permanency Hearing

  • The Permanency Hearing is held.

  • Mary and her mother attend; they report Mary’s father is very ill; Emma has had to quit her part-time job to take care of him; regrettably, she can no longer take care of David.

  • The CASA confirms the grandparents are no longer able to care for David; they have exhausted community resources.

  • DFPS reports that Joe left the house for three days but returned; Mary has not exercised her right to have him removed.


Permanency hearing cont

Permanency Hearing (cont.)

  • Since Mary has not complied with the Service Plan, DFPS is moving forward with termination of Mary and Joe’s parental rights to David so they can place him for adoption.

  • The judge orders David to be placed in foster care with the appropriate license to deal with his autism; since John is already taking care of himself, he will remain with his grandparents; David’s Permanency Plan will be amended.

  • The judge orders mediation to address termination of parental rights in hopes of expediting adoption for David.

  • The Trial/Final Hearing is set for no later than the Monday after the first anniversary of the Department being granted TMC.


Update data permanency hearing

Update Data - Permanency Hearing

  • David

    • Placement – Foster Care

    • Service Level – Specialized

    • Care Type - Habilitative

  • Case

    • Referred to Mediation Date – 12/05/2007


Trial final hearing

Trial/Final Hearing

  • The Trial/Final Hearing is held and neither parent is present.

  • Mediation was unsuccessful; DFPS was unable to obtain voluntary relinquishment for David.

  • The CASA reports David is struggling with adjusting to his new foster home; he is acting out at school; John has saved enough money and is ready to move in with Sam, Jr.; Both John and David are medically healthy.

  • The judge orders services to meet David’s special needs; he is to remain in the foster home.


Trial final hearing cont

Trial/Final Hearing (cont.)

  • The judge orders termination of parental rights for David on the following grounds:

    • 161.001(1)(D) Surroundings Endangers Physical or Emotional Well-being

    • 161.001(1)(E) Conduct Endangers Physical or Emotional Well-being

    • 161.001(1)(M) Parental Rights w/Another Child Terminated

  • The final order is rendered; John will be living independently with Sam, Jr. under Permanent Managing Conservatorship with DFPS without termination of parental rights; David is placed in Permanent Managing Conservatorship with DFPS with termination of the parent-child relationship with a Permanency Plan of Adoption.

  • The Six Month Placement Review Hearing for David is set for no later than180 days from the Trial/Final Hearing; John will Age-Out before the next hearing.


Update data trial final hearting

Update Data – Trial/Final Hearting

  • Case

    • Mediation Results – Unsuccessful

  • John

    • Order (Final) – PMC to DFPS w/o Termination

    • Discharge Reason – Age Out

  • David

    • Order (Final) – Adoption

    • Order (Child-Parent) – Termination of Parental Rights Order

    • Permanency Plan(s)(A,B,C) – Unrelated Adoption


Placement review hearing

Placement Review Hearing

  • The Placement Review Hearing is held.

  • DFPS reports Davey has adjusted to his foster home; his foster parents want to adopt him; they have filed an adoption petition.

  • The next Placement Review Hearing is scheduled for no later than180 days after the this Placement Review Hearing.


The end

The End


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