Last week THSC hosted its annual Continuing Legal Education training for attorneys, called “Defending Innocent Families From CPS.” Almost two dozen attorneys attended this six-hour training session, which is hosted by our organization for the purpose of giving lawyers tools and information to enable them to help families who are being falsely accused of abuse and/or neglect. In some cases these families’ children are removed from the home and placed into the foster care system.
Several attorneys have told us that they attend this training session because it is not only certified by the State Bar Association of Texas but it is also one of the only seminars not co-sponsored by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS), the parent agency of CPS. One attorney told us it was the best CLE she had ever attended and that she had been to many. In the decade that we have been hosting this event, we have trained hundreds of Texas attorneys to be aggressive defenders of the family, and most agree to take at least one case recommended by us for free.
In the six hours of presentations and discussions, we heard over and over again about judges who did not follow the law. We heard numerous reports of judges who routinely refused to hold CPS to the requirements of the Texas Family Code and who simply gave CPS almost every request for which they asked, often at the expense of the children and families involved.
I have written before about the connection between the battle for restoring parental rights in Texas and the critical need for judicial reform. Hearing these stories and the frustrations of attorneys trying to protect children and families from the abuses of CPS reminded me again that one of the keys to restoring parental rights in Texas is to elect judges who will follow the law and who will require CPS workers to do so as well.
One attorney pointed out that an attorney could not publicly draw attention to the actions of judges in such cases. I responded that I’m not an attorney and that THSC is and will continue to draw attention to such judges, with the hope that many of them will draw opponents in the upcoming elections and that voters will remove them from office. To that end, THSC Association has launched the “Texas Judicial Wall of Shame” on our website to highlight such judges and their actions. We are in the process of reviewing judicial candidates and will be endorsing those whom we are convinced will follow the law and who will, in the process, protect innocent children and parents from abuse by CPS workers.
I hope you will continue to follow this page on our website as we add more judges to the Wall of Shame and soon highlight in our endorsements those we support in replacing them. We hope you will also forward to us those whom you think we should review for this dubious distinction.