The Children's Commission publishes a Texas Child Protection Law Bench Book (Bench Book) which outlines the state and federal statutory requirements for judges handling child protection cases, including topical sections and checklists. The Bench Book includes special issues which judges may encounter in overseeing child protection cases, as well as statutory and case law citations which are maintained by and connected to an online resource called LawBox.

The Bench Book is updated annually and revised each year to incorporate changes emanating from the Texas Legislative Session. 

The online version of the Texas Child Protection Law Bench Book is available at the links below. The Bench Book can be accessed by mobile phone users, in which case, downloading the LawBox application is suggested for easier viewing of its content. 

The Bench Book is disseminated at the Commission’s annual Child Welfare Judicial Conference, Annual College for New Judges, and upon request. If you are a Texas judge responsible for hearing CPS cases and interested in receiving a hardbound copy of the Texas Child Protection Law Bench Book, please contact the Children's Commission at children@txcourts.gov.


Bench Book

The Texas Child Protection Law Bench Book is available in the following:


Bench Cards

In 2015, the Children's Commission introduced Bench Cards, which are abbreviated reference cards on specific hearing types and subject matter for quick reference. An extended long version of the Bench Cards complete with Family Code citations is also available. 

Reference cards and topics include: Adversary Hearing; Status Hearing; Permanency Hearing Before Final Order; Final Hearing; Permanency Hearing After Final Order; Education; ICWA; Medical and Mental Health Care; Human Trafficking; Disproportionality: Bench Card to Reduce or Eliminate Disproportionality; NCJFCJ Courts Catalyzing Change (CCC); American Bar Association Judicial Bench Cards for Engaging Youth in the Courtroom: Bench Cards for Engaging Young Children (ages 0-12 Months); Toddlers (1-3 years) and Preschoolers (3-5 years); School-Age Children (5-11 years); Adolescents (12-15 years); and Older Adolescents (16+ years).

Please visit the Bench Book / Bench Cards portion of the Reports and Resources page.