A. Removal or Conservatorship of a Child

1. Authorized Actions by Governmental Entity

A governmental entity with an interest in the child may file a suit affecting the parent-child relationship requesting an order or take possession of a child without a court order. Tex. Fam. Code § 262.001(a).

2. Child’s Health and Safety is Paramount Concern

When determining if reasonable efforts have been made with respect to preventing or eliminating the need to remove a child from the child’s home or to make it possible to return a child to the child’s home, the child’s health and safety is the paramount concern. Tex. Fam. Code § 262.001(b). However, new Tex. Fam. Code § 262.116 prohibits DFPS from taking possession of a child based on evidence that the parent homeschooled, is economically disadvantaged, has been charged with a nonviolent misdemeanor (other than one listed in Title 5 or 6 of the Penal Code, or involves family violence as defined by Tex. Fam. Code § 71.004, the parent provided or administered low-THC cannabis if the low-THC cannabis was prescribed for the child, or if a parent declined immunization for a child for reasons of conscience, including religious belief. This new section does not prohibit DFPS from gathering or offering evidence of these actions as part of an effort to take possession of a child.