Resource Letter:
For Judges Handling Child Protective Services Cases
February 7, 2020
Save the Date: 2020 Child Welfare Judges Conference
The Children’s Commission, in partnership with the Texas Center for the Judiciary, will host the 13th Annual Child Welfare Judges Conference at the Sheraton Austin Georgetown Hotel & Conference Center in Georgetown, Texas on October 26-28, 2020. 

This year’s program will begin with lunch at noon on Monday, October 26 and end mid-day on October 28, 2020. In addition, a pre-conference meeting for all Child Protection Court Associate Judges and Court Coordinators will be held on the morning of Monday, October 26 before the conference program begins.

As in years past, the conference will offer continuing education credits. Please stay tuned for additional announcements regarding the conference agenda and registration details.
2019 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 2019 to incorporate changes resulting from the 86th Texas Legislative Session and to include updates to all topical chapters. New sections on de novo hearings and joint managing conservatorship have been added, as well as new topical chapters on children with disabilities, Mexican Consular relations, and substance use disorders.

The online version of the Bench Book is available on the Children’s Commission website at this link: Texas Child Protection Law Bench Book . 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. 

If you are a Texas judge responsible for hearing CPS cases and you are interested in receiving a hard copy of the 2019 Texas Child Protection Law Bench Book, please contact the Children's Commission with your request at .

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 is not able to provide hard copies to everyone, the online version of the Bench Book at the above link is interactive, and a free, downloadable PDF version is available at the same link.
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For a complete list of Jurist in Residence Letters, please visit the Children's Commission webpage . 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 .