Resource Letter:
For Judges Handling Child Protective Services Cases
October 28, 2020
Reminder: Registration for "Day with the Department" Judicial Conference
The Children’s Commission will partner with the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) to host a judicial conference in a virtual format on Friday, December 11, 2020 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. CST. This event will complement the 2020 Child Welfare Judges Conference and offers an opportunity for judges to interact with DFPS outside of the courtroom environment. The conference will include a presentation by DFPS leadership, a statewide data presentation, and breakout sessions with DFPS Regional Directors. The conference will offer Continuing Judicial Education (CJE) credits.

Registration is limited to judges who hear child welfare cases and is now open. There is no registration fee. Please visit Day with the Department to register for the conference.
Post-Event Survey & Archived Sessions for 2020 Child Welfare Judges Conference
In partnership with the Texas Center for the Judiciary (TCJ), the Children’s Commission hosted the 13th Annual Child Welfare Judges Conference virtually on Tuesday, October 27, 2020. A post-conference survey for participants will be sent through TCJ to those who were able to attend. Your feedback on the event is greatly appreciated.

Judges who were unable to attend the live conference can access the archived curriculum by registering for the Child Welfare Judges Conference on TCJ’s website beginning Tuesday, November 10, 2020. The conference offers six hours of CJE credits and six hours of Family Violence credits. There is no registration fee. Please note that users will need to sign in to TCJ's website in order to register.
2020 Child Protection Law Bench Book Now Available
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.
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For a complete list of Resource Letters, please visit the Children's Commission web page. Information provided by the Children’s Commission should not be read as a commentary by the Supreme Court of Texas or any other court. The Children’s Commission website is not equipped to facilitate dialogue or conversation about matters related to the information in this communique. For more information about the Children’s Commission, please visit our website.