Resource Letter:

For Judges and Attorneys Handling Child Welfare Cases

November 3, 2022

2022 Child Welfare Law Bench Book Available Online

The 2022 edition of the Texas Child Welfare Law Bench Book (Bench Book) is available online and includes updates throughout and new chapters on Required Participation and Dual Status. Based on feedback regarding usability, the 2022 edition is organized into the following sections: Statutory, Legal Essentials, Federal, Health, Well-being, Safety, System Issues, and Family Connections. There is also a new Bench Card on the Court Ordered Services Hearing.

While the Bench Book was originally designed for and is primarily used by judges, many attorneys and other child welfare stakeholders may find it to be informative and helpful. A desktop version of the Bench Book is available on the Children’s Commission website as a downloadable PDF for print. An interactive version of the Bench Book is available through an online service called LawBox (recommended on mobile devices). If you are a Texas judge responsible for hearing child welfare cases and interested in receiving a printed copy of the Texas Child Welfare Law Bench Book, please send your request to Please note, limited printed copies may be available.

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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.