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.