For more information, please visit the Legal Practice & Process webpage, section entitled Legal Representation.
Tool Kit for Attorneys Representing the Department of Family and Protective Services in Child Welfare Cases
Developed by the Children’s Commission DFPS Representation Subcommittee, the 2022 Tool Kit for Attorneys Representing the Department of Family and Protective Services in Child Welfare Cases contains legislative changes and best practice suggestions to update the original 2018 publication of the tool kit. The tool kit includes changes made in the 87th Texas Legislative Session and new sections on service of citation and notice, interventions, alternatives to removal, court ordered services/motions to participate, reinstatement of parental rights, the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA), and common abbreviations and acronyms. The tool kit also contains essential legal basics and topical chapters on concurrent and special issues related to child welfare cases including reasonable efforts, placement, visitation, and supporting older youth in foster care.
- Print Version (Updated March 2022)
- Online and Interactive; also available by downloading the mobile application, LawBox:
Pamphlet: Fathers' Rights in CPS Cases: What You Need to Know
The Children’s Commission Legal Representation Committee has completed a resource pamphlet highlighting fathers’ rights when involved in a CPS case. Modeled after the Commission’s What Does a Parent’s Attorney Do? pamphlet, Fathers' Rights in CPS Cases: What You Need To Know uses accessible language to inform fathers of their basic rights in child welfare legal proceedings and explains the different legal statuses for fathers. The pamphlet is available for PDF download on the Children’s Commission website. To request pamphlets for your jurisdiction, please contact the Children’s Commission at email@example.com.
Rights of Incarcerated Parents in CPS Cases
The Children’s Commission Legal Representation Committee developed a poster as a resource highlighting the rights of incarcerated parents in a CPS case. This resource identifies basic rights in child welfare legal proceedings and explains how parents can participate in the case and in their child’s life, subject to the rules of the institution where they are incarcerated. The poster is available for PDF download below:
Rights of Incarcerated Parents
New Video Series: Youth Voice Videos Explaining the Attorney-Client Relationship
“Your Lawyer Works for You” is a two-part video series designed for youth to explain the attorney-client relationship. The videos are a collaboration between the Children’s Commission and the Texas Network of Youth Services (TNOYS) Young Adult Leadership Council (YALC) and features young adults formerly in foster care discussing their experiences with their attorneys, articulating basics about the attorney-client relationship, and helping youth understand how to resolve problems with their attorneys. The videos are available on the Children’s Commission's YouTube Youth Voice Playlist and the TNOYS YouTube Channel.
2022 Tool Kit for Attorneys Representing Parents and Children in Child Welfare Cases
Developed by the Children’s Commission Legal Representation Committee, the 2022 Tool Kit for Attorneys Representing Parents and Children in Child Welfare Cases reflects changes made by the 87th Texas Legislative Session and includes new chapters on children without placement, court-ordered services/motions to participate, medical abuse and neglect, and the reinstatement of parental rights. The tool kit covers essential legal basics at a glance, including pleadings, motions, evidentiary issues, hearing checklists, and related federal law issues. The tool kit also contains topical chapters on concurrent and special issues related to child welfare cases including child well-being, normalcy, dual status, incarceration, and trauma-informed advocacy.
The 2022 Tool Kit for Attorneys Representing Parents and Children in Child Welfare Cases is available in the following:
Coloring Book: Sam and the Search for Spots - How Your Lawyer Can Help You
The Children’s Commission Legal Representation Committee created a coloring book designed to help children ages 6-12 understand the role of an attorney ad litem for a child and the attorney-client relationship in a child welfare case. The coloring book was developed by a workgroup which included law professors, board-certified child welfare law experts, and youth with lived experience in foster care and is designed to help children and caregivers discuss what makes an attorney ad litem for the child different from other people in the child’s case and how the attorney can help the child during the case through counseling and advocacy.
This publication is available in two formats at the links below: to print on a personal device, and for commercial print.
For assistance or inquiries about this publication, please contact Jessica Arguijo at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brochures Explaining the Attorney’s Role for Parents and for Children in a Child Welfare Case
These brochures explain the responsibilities of an attorney for a parent or child towards their client and how to resolve issues between the attorney and the client. The brochures are intended to be shared with parents and foster parents in child welfare cases and may be helpful for judges to have available in the courtroom and/or a courthouse library or information center.
Standards of Practice: