Lara Bracamonte Davila

Doing What Is Right For You

If DFPS shows up at my house, do I have to let them in?

On Behalf of | Feb 22, 2024 | Child Protective Services

Being a parent is complicated, hard and it can be scary. This is especially true if the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services comes knocking. One common question is whether parents are obligated to allow DFPS into their homes.

Understanding DFPS’s role

DFPS’s goal is to safeguard children, the elderly and individuals with disabilities from abuse, neglect and exploitation. Specifically, the Child Protective Services division intervenes when allegations of child abuse or neglect surface.

If DFPS shows up at my house, do I have to let them in?

The answer hinges on various factors. CPS cannot enter your home without your permission unless armed with a court order or compelling evidence of immediate danger to your child. Upon a CPS worker’s arrival, you retain the right to inquire about their purpose and whether they possess a court order.

Consequences of refusing entry

Refusing entry to CPS may prompt them to pursue a court order for access. While refusal could escalate the situation, potentially leading to legal repercussions, it is crucial to recognize your rights as a parent.

Parental rights in Texas

Texas grants parents specific rights and responsibilities concerning their children. These encompass the right to physical possession, the authority over moral and religious training and the ability to designate the child’s residence. Both parents share these fundamental rights, with additional rights allocated based on the custody agreement.

Traversing family law complexities, especially when DFPS is involved, demands a nuanced understanding of your rights and obligations as a parent. Remember, the overarching aim of DFPS and the legal system is to secure the safety and well-being of your child, but that does not mean that they are perfect. Good Texas parents are commonly caught up in overly zealous CPS cases. Though, collaboration and comprehension can pave the way for a positive resolution that serves the best interests of all parties involved.