Texas Child Protection Law Bench Book

2023 version: As effective November 1, 2023

G. Admission of a Child in DFPS Custody to an Inpatient Mental Health Facility

DFPS may request admission to an inpatient mental health facility only if a physician states that the child has a mental illness or demonstrates symptoms of a serious emotional disorder and presents a serious risk of harm to themselves or others. Tex. Health & Safety Code 572.001. DFPS may not admit a child in DFPS conservatorship to an inpatient mental health facility based on the child's consent to be admitted.

The admission is considered a significant event for purposes of Tex. Fam. Code ยง 264.018 and requires notice to all parties entitled to notice and to the court of continuing jurisdiction within three days of admission. DPFS must continue to review the need for continued placement and if DFPS determines there is no longer a need for inpatient treatment, DFPS must notify the facility administrator that the child may no longer be detained without an application for court-ordered mental health services.