CPS Visitation Policy:
Best Practice & Recent Policy Changes
One Voice Texas
• Policy & implementation projects in HHS
• Over 115 members
• Three workgroups
▫ Health
▫ Behavioral Heal...
Importance of Visitation
• Research shows it increases the probability of
reunification
• It has a positive impact on atta...
CPS Policy Regarding Visitation
• CPS Handbook (6415.2)
▫ Minimum of once a month between parent and child
▫ Right to main...
Best Practice
• 1st visit should occur within 48hrs of placement
• Daily contact for infants and toddlers (0-3)
• 2-3 visi...
SB 352 (West / Gonzalez)
• Applies to all children in Temporary Managing
Conservatorship with goal of reunification
• Init...
What You Can Do
• Advocate for the best visitation plan for your client
• Assist CPS in finding the resources to make the ...
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CPS Visitation Policy-- Best practice & recent policy changes

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Dr. Katherine Barillas, Director of Child Welfare Policy at One Voice Texas, shares info on CPS Visitation Policy during the 2014 Keeping Infants and Toddlers Safe (KITS) Conference in Houston, Texas.

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CPS Visitation Policy-- Best practice & recent policy changes

  1. 1. CPS Visitation Policy: Best Practice & Recent Policy Changes
  2. 2. One Voice Texas • Policy & implementation projects in HHS • Over 115 members • Three workgroups ▫ Health ▫ Behavioral Health ▫ Children & Youth • Membership Options: ▫ www.onevoicetexas.org
  3. 3. Importance of Visitation • Research shows it increases the probability of reunification • It has a positive impact on attachment and bonding, which are critical for good mental health in children • Parents report that it gives them a sense of hope and reminds them of who they are fighting for
  4. 4. CPS Policy Regarding Visitation • CPS Handbook (6415.2) ▫ Minimum of once a month between parent and child ▫ Right to maintain regular contact unless: court restricts their contacts; parents have executed an affidavit of relinquishment or had their parental rights terminated or parent’s contact increases risk. Attorney’s should ask for specific documentation about how parent’s contact increases risk and discuss ways of ameliorating risk before the decision to terminate visits is made. ▫ Visitation plan due at day 45 when service plan must be filed with court (changed with SB 352)
  5. 5. Best Practice • 1st visit should occur within 48hrs of placement • Daily contact for infants and toddlers (0-3) • 2-3 visits per week for school aged children • Youth should be involved in visitation plan • Other forms of contact should supplement in-person (i.e. email, phone, texting, Skype, letters) Reminder…. there is nothing in CPS policy that specifically restricts attorney requests for best visitation practice for their clients
  6. 6. SB 352 (West / Gonzalez) • Applies to all children in Temporary Managing Conservatorship with goal of reunification • Initial visit by at least 3rd day after the department is named temporary managing conservator • Temporary visitation schedule until plan developed • Visitation plan filed with court at least 10 days before status hearing • Court reviews • What parent must do to have visitation if denied • What must occur for supervision to be reduced
  7. 7. What You Can Do • Advocate for the best visitation plan for your client • Assist CPS in finding the resources to make the visit happen (i.e. transportation, someone to supervise) • Observe the visit yourself or request a copy of the visitation observation form (which should be shared with your client) • Provide the judge with the positive details you observed about the visit • Join One Voice Texas and have your voice heard (kbarillas@onevoicetexas.org)

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