Conclusion

The Constitution of the United States and Texas, the Texas Family Code and the common law all favor family control, preservation of familial rights, and a preference for family relative or designated placement. Presumptively best interest favors family placement. In practice, we seem to have reversed these presumptions either out of fear or convenience. We should not let this continue. There is not a single place in the Texas Family Code that suggests DFPS conservatorship and placement is a preferred category. The law actually says the opposite. If DFPS does not do its job, then the Court is obligated to return the child. If more time is needed, then the Court should grant the parties the time needed. It is time that advocates insist that the laws be followed and that someone, preferably parents' attorneys, attorneys ad litem, guardians ad litem, the courts and anyone else involved, push for accountability measures if DFPS fails to do its job.

When this is done effectively, our children, families, justice system, and state will be far better off for the effort.