Child Welfare – When children are removed from their homes by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (also known as CPS) the law requires that they be appointed and Attorney Ad Litem and a Guardian Ad Litem.
The role of an Attorney Ad Litem is to represent what the child wants in their case. For a child who is old enough to understand the attorney/client relationship and express wishes and desires as to the outcome of their case, the attorney ad litem must follow their directive and represent their wishes to the Court
The role of a Guardian Ad Litem is to represent to the Court what is in the best interest of the child. The Guardian Ad Litem must look at the total picture and make the best interest determination and reflect that to the Court.
Child Welfare - Child Abuse - Child Neglect
There are times when the Guardian Ad Litem and the Attorney Ad Litem can be the same person. This is often the case for very young children who are too young to express what they want to happen in their case. In these child welfare cases the law allows an Attorney Ad Litem to substitute their judgment for the child thereby representing to the Court what is in the best interest of the child.
The Attorney Ad Litem and the Guardian Ad Litem are appointed by the Court in which the child abuse/neglect case is filed. Both roles, whether they are one individual or two, maintain contact with the child throughout the case until they are returned home, adopted or age out of the foster care system.
Indigent Parent also Entitled to Court Appointed Attorney
The law also requires that when a child is removed by CPS from the parent for abuse or neglect, that an indigent parent is entitled to a Court appointed attorney. A parent requesting a Court appointed attorney must go to the Court and fill out an application that details their income and finances. The Court will then review that application and if the parent is found to be indigent, the Court will appoint that parent an attorney to represent them for the entirety of the case.
Representing Children and Parents in Child Abuse Cases
Colette Sallas is on the Denton County court appointment list as an attorney who can be appointed to represent both children and parents in child abuse and neglect cases brought by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (CPS).
To be placed as an attorney on this list Colette had to complete an application that detailed her experience in this area. That application was reviewed by the Denton County District Court Judges who then approved Colette as a qualified attorney to serve in these types of cases. Colette has been on the Denton County court appointment list representing children and parents in abuse and neglect cases since 2008.
Compassionate, Effective Legal Representation
These cases are critically important not only from the perspective of maintaining a family unit but also in protecting the children who are vulnerable and need compassionate, effective representation to ensure their safety and well-being.
Colette limits her practice in these cases to only Denton County. Having worked with the Courts and CPS in these types of cases since 2008, Colette is more than qualified to handle all aspects of CPS cases. Contact Sallas Law PLLC.