The Child Protective Services unit of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, or CPS, investigates reports of child abuse and neglect. Their investigations could include allegations of sexual abuse.
CPS will investigate most reports of abuse or neglect, which the organization will receive from a number of sources.
There are two things Beaumont residents should remember about CPS investigators.
First, they are not law enforcement officers. Their goals are to investigate allegations of child abuse and neglect and to keep children safe. As such, they have power to interview and examine children, check over a child’s home and talk to doctors and other providers.
However, this does mean that they are the friends of the parents, or others, whom they are investigating. The goal of their investigation is to find evidence that someone has mistreated a child. If they find evidence, they will take legal action.
In fact, a parent or adult does not have any obligation to talk to CPS or admit anything. An adult who even suspects he or she is being accused of a sex offense against a child should strongly consider not saying anything.
CPS will work closely with law enforcement officers, prosecutors
CPS also must cooperate with police if the police are investigating a possible crime at the same time in the same situation. CPS officials will share what they have seen and heard with police, including any statements an accused may have made.
Likewise, CPS will report suspected crimes to the police if they find evidence of a crime while investigating a report of child abuse and neglect.
Local prosecutors will usually be well-aware of the details of a CPS investigation when they decide to bring a charge of child sex abuse or another child-related crime against a Beaumont resident.
A Texas resident being investigated for sexual or other abuse against a child should strongly consider getting help from an experienced criminal defense attorney.