The Children's Commission publishes a Texas Child Protection Law Bench Book (Bench Book) which outlines the state and federal statutory requirements for judges handling child protection cases and includes topical sections and checklists. The Bench Book also includes special issues which judges may encounter in overseeing child protection cases, as well as statutory and case law citations which are maintained by and connected to an online service called LawBox.
The Bench Book is updated annually, and was revised in October 2020 to include updates throughout. The Texas Child Protection Law Bench Book is available on the Children’s Commission website. The Bench Book can be accessed by mobile phone users from this link as well. If accessing via mobile phone, downloading the LawBox App first to access the Bench Book is suggested for easier viewing of its content.
A printed copy of the 2020 Texas Child Protection Law Bench Book is available for Texas judges who are responsible for hearing CPS cases. Those judges who have not already requested a printed copy and would like to receive one can submit a request through the Bench Book Request Form.
While the Bench Book was originally designed for and is primarily used by judges, many attorneys and other child welfare stakeholders also find it to be informative and helpful. Although the Commission has a limited number of printed copies for distribution to judges, the Bench Book is available online as a free, downloadable PDF for print and also as an interactive resource through Lawbox.