Gonzales Regional Children's Advocacy Center
Gonzales and Lavaca
1604 St. Paul St., Gonzales, Tx 78629  Phone 830-672-1278
Children's Advocacy Centers of Texas
National Children's Alliance
A 501 (C) (3) Tax exempt organization
To restore the dignity, hope
and security to children of
Gonzales, Lavaca and
surrounding counties by uniting
public officials and our
If a report of abuse is made against a parent or step-parent or someone who has a lot of contact with the child, a
DFPS worker will talk to the non-offending parent about a plan to protect the child.  For the child’s safety and the
best interest of everyone involved, the alleged offender to leave the home, the worker must find the child a safe
place.  If the child is giving believable details of abuse or has medical evidence of abuse and the non-offending
parent does not believe the child and does not keep the offender away, the DFPS worker may determine that the
child is in danger of further abuse and remove the child from the parent’s custody.  If this happens, the following
steps may be taken.

1.  A hearing will occur in court within 14 days. This is called the 262 hearing or adversary hearing.   This is when
custody is taken due to emergency circumstances.  If CPS files for a non-emergency hearing, the 262 hearing is
held first before CPS is given custody - the same process happens as when emergency custody is taken except
custody is not granted until after the judge hears evidence from both sides.  This is not a criminal hearing.  
However, the parents have the right to have an attorney present.  The court will give the child an attorney known
as the “guardian ad litem”.  DFPS will also have an attorney there.  The judge will make one of the following

•        Leave the child in DFPS custody
•        Return the child to the parent
•        Place the child with a relative
•        Make some other decision, depending on the situation

2.  If the child stays in DFPS custody or with a relative, DFPS will work with the non-offending parent to try to make
the home safe for the child to be returned.  The issue of keeping the offender away from the child has to be
settled.  DFPS will also provide supportive services to help the non-offending parent protect the child.
3.  A “temporary legal custody” hearing will be held, usually within three months.  The judge will hear the facts
again and make a decision on where the child will live.
4.  If the child still cannot be returned home, DFPS will continue to work with the family to try to find a safe way for
the child to go home.  As long as the child stays in DFPS custody, the judge will review the case every three
months.  This will continue until the judge decides to return the child home or terminate parental rights.
The Civil Court Process