Resource Letter:
For Judges and Attorneys Handling Child Protective Services Cases
November 1, 2021
New Publications: Attorney Ad Litem Coloring Book and Updated Child Protection Law Bench Book
Please see the announcements below regarding two new publications from the Children’s Commission.
Coloring Book: Sam and the Search for Spots - How Your Lawyer Can Help You
The Children’s Commission Legal Representation Committee created a coloring book designed to help children ages 6-12 understand the role of an attorney ad litem for a child and the attorney-client relationship. The coloring book was developed by a work group which included law professors, board-certified child welfare law experts, and youth formerly in foster care.
The goal of this publication is to facilitate discussion and understanding between children, caregivers, and attorneys about what differentiates an attorney from other people in the child’s case and how the attorney can help the child client.

This publication is available in two formats:

For assistance or inquiries about this publication, please contact the Children’s Commission at [email protected].
2021 Child Protection Law Bench Book Available Online
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 welfare cases. The Bench Book also includes topical sections addressing issues judges may encounter in overseeing child welfare cases, as well as statutory and case law citations which are maintained by and connected to an online service called LawBox. Bench Cards are also available and provide this information through easy-to-use checklists that outline relevant laws at different stages of a child welfare case as well as by topic (i.e., education and human trafficking).

The Bench Book is updated annually, and was revised in October 2021 to include updates throughout from the 87th Regular Legislative Session and new chapters on the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) and domestic violence. Additionally, there is a new Bench Card on remote hearings.
The Texas Child Protection Law Bench Book is available on the Children’s Commission website as a free, downloadable PDF for print and also as an interactive resource through LawBox. If accessing via mobile device, downloading the LawBox App first to access the Bench Book is suggested for easier viewing of its content. 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 free of charge at the link above for digital access and downloading.
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For a complete list of Resource 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.