Having the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services pay you a visit can be very unsettling. This agency investigates allegations of abuse and neglect, so someone has reported you to them. You do have rights during this process, which includes knowing what to expect.

According to DFPS, a child welfare visit happens after they receive communication about suspected abuse or neglect at your home. You always have the right to ask questions and contact the DFPS supervisor if you need to. A worker should always present you with an ID verifying he or she is from the DFPS.

At the visit, the worker will talk with you and your children. They may inspect your home and offer you services as well if they see a need. The worker will take all steps necessary to keep your children safe, but this does not usually mean he or she will take your children. More often, the worker will offer you assistance if he or she sees an issue in your home. If DFPS does take your children, you will have a court hearing within two weeks. You also have the opportunity to provide the names of three people who could care for your children in the meantime.

The worker will be open with you during the visit and explain his or her findings. They will talk with everyone in the home and may do background checks. They may ask you about any injuries your child has or talk about risks in the home. They may even involve doctors who will treat you or your children.

In any case, whether there is a legitimate concern or not, you should always cooperate. Emotions can run high during a visit, but if you cooperate, things should go smoothly for you and your children. This information is for education and is not legal advice.