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Legal Representation Committee

When a family is involved in a child welfare proceeding, quality legal counsel is essential for all parties to ensure that the court strikes the appropriate balance between the rights and duties of all parties involved. The Children’s Commission has maintained a Legal Representation Committee (LRC) since its inception. The Committee exists to identify training needs, advise child welfare system stakeholders on best legal and judicial system practices, evaluate proposed statutory amendments, assess the quality of legal representation throughout the state, and help ensure that court proceedings guard due process, promote child and family engagement, and produce quality legal representation outcomes for the children and families involved.

Please visit the sections below to learn more about our current projects or the Reports & Resources page for additional materials.

The Legal Representation Committee developed various materials designed to help children, parents, and caregivers understand the attorney’s role in the case and the attorney-client relationship.

Pamphlet: Father's Rights in CPS Cases: What You Need to Know 

The Children’s Commission Legal Representation Committee has completed a resource pamphlet highlighting fathers’ rights when involved in a CPS case. Modeled after the Commission’s What Does a Parent’s Attorney Do? pamphlet, Fathers' Rights in CPS Cases: What You Need To Know uses accessible language to inform fathers of their basic rights in child welfare legal proceedings and explains the different legal statuses for fathers. The pamphlet is available for PDF download on the Children’s Commission website. To request pamphlets for your jurisdiction, please contact the Children’s Commission at




Rights of Incarcerated Parents in CPS Cases

The Children’s Commission Legal Representation Committee developed a poster as a resource highlighting the rights of incarcerated parents in a CPS case. This resource identifies basic rights in child welfare legal proceedings and explains how parents can participate in the case and in their child’s life, subject to the rules of the institution where they are incarcerated. The poster is available for PDF download below:

Rights of Incarcerated Parents


Video Series: Youth Voice Videos Explaining the Attorney-Client Relationship

“Your Lawyer Works for You.” Is a two-part video series designed for youth to explain the attorney-client relationship. The videos are a collaboration between the Children’s Commission and the Texas Network of Youth Services (TNOYS) Young Adult Leadership Council (YALC) and features young adults formerly in foster care discussing their experiences with their attorneys, articulating basics about the attorney-client relationship, and helping youth understand how to resolve problems with their attorneys. The videos are available on the Children’s Commission's YouTube playlist and the TNOYS YouTube Channel.


Coloring Book: Sam and the Search for Spots - How Your Lawyer Can Help You

The Children’s Commission Legal Representation Committee created a coloring book designed to help children ages 6-12 understand the role of an attorney ad litem for a child and the attorney-client relationship in a child welfare case. The coloring book was developed by a workgroup which included law professors, board-certified child welfare law experts, and youth with lived experience in foster care and is designed to help children and caregivers discuss what makes an attorney ad litem for the child different from other people in the child’s case and how the attorney can help the child during the case through counseling and advocacy.

This publication is available in two formats at the links below: to print on a personal device, and for commercial print.

In English:

In Spanish: 

For assistance or inquiries about this publication, please contact Jessica Arguijo at

Brochures Explaining the Attorney’s Role for Parents and for Children in a Child Welfare Case

The following brochures explain the responsibilities of an attorney for a parent or child towards their client and how to resolve issues between the attorney and the client. The brochures are intended to be shared with parents and foster parents in child welfare cases and may be helpful for judges to have available in the courtroom and/or a courthouse library or information center.        

2024 Tool Kit for Attorneys Representing Parents and Children in Child Protection Cases

The 2024 Tool Kit for Attorneys Representing Parents and Children in Child Welfare Cases is available in the following:


Tool Kit for Attorneys Representing the Department of Family and Protective Services in Child Welfare Cases

Developed by the Children’s Commission DFPS Representation Subcommittee, the 2022 Tool Kit for Attorneys Representing the Department of Family and Protective Services in Child Welfare Cases contains legislative changes and best practice suggestions to update the original 2018 publication of the tool kit. The updated tool kit includes changes made in the 87th Texas Legislative Session and new sections on service of citation and notice, interventions, alternatives to removal, court ordered services/motions to participate, reinstatement of parental rights, the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA), and common abbreviations and acronyms. The tool kit also contains essential legal basics and topical chapters on concurrent and special issues related to child welfare cases including reasonable efforts, placement, visitation, and supporting older youth in foster care.