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 recently revised to include updates to all topical chapters.
New sections on best interest, burden of proof required throughout the stages of a CPS case, contempt, and the importance of youth voice in court have been added. Additionally, there is a new bench card on addressing disproportionality.
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 2018 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.