Texas Foster Youth

OBTAINING YOUR CPS RECORDS

You are able to request your CPS records if you were in foster care or you ever had a case open with Child Protective Services about you being abused or neglected . There are no costs to request your records. You must be an adult to request your records. Below are steps to requesting your CPS records.

*DFPS is experiencing some backlog of record requests at this time and it is recommended to request your records through the Texas Foster Youth Justice Project at this time. Please contact us at 512-374-2767 or toll free at 877-313-3688 to do an intake.

1. Write a letter to DFPS

It is a good idea to include a letter with the Request for Case Records (Form 4885-G). This letter should include your name, address, phone number, email address if you have one that you check regularly, and a statement that you are requesting the records, and what you have provided with the letter. A sample can be found here.

2. Fill out the Request for Case Records (Form 4885-G)

You can find the Request for Case Records (Form 4885-G) by clicking here or by going to: http://www.dfps.state.tx.us/Application/Forms/showFile.aspx?NAME=4885G.pdf.

Below are instructions on how to fill out the Request for Case Records (Form 4885-G). A sample can be found here. The bolded numbers in the instructions below match up to where you need to fill out the information on the sample form. You can fill out the form on the computer or by hand.

  • Under A you will need to check the Child Protective Services (CPS) box (1).
  • Under B you will need to put as much information as you can remember. Include:
    • your full name (first, middle, last) under Case Name (2)
    • your case number if you know it (3)
    • the dates you were in foster care (4). If you were in care multiple times be sure to put all the dates. If you don't know the exact date, then estimate the time period. The symbol " ~ " means approximately or around. You can find this symbol by pressing shift and the key to the left of the number 1 at the same time.
    • your name again under primary children so that you can include your date of birth and social security number. Then list your parents/grandparents/adoptive parents/ etc. of who the case was against when you were placed in foster care (5).
    • Under Any Other Identifying information (6) you can put the county where you think you were living when CPS first put you in foster care. You can also put any other names you might have gone by, including your name before an adoption or name change or nicknames . If there are more people that won't fit in (5) then you can place that information here. If you were in foster care more than one time write that here. If you only know some of the information, go ahead and put it in. All information will help.
  • Under C you will need to put your first name, middle initial and last name (7). Then check mark the yes boxes for both "Are you involved in the case that you are requesting?" and "If yes, were you ever in DFPS foster care as a child?" (8).
    • Include your phone number (9), fax number if you have one (9), and email address (9) if you check it regularly.
  • Under D you need to fill out your address where you want the CPS records mailed to (10). Make sure if you are at a temporary place, you put down an address that you trust can hold on to the records until you can pick them up. Also make sure you let the person know who lives there that you have put their address down for the records to be sent to. Be aware that some apartments will not allow mail to be sent if your name is not on the mailbox. Make sure the person who lives there has made sure it is okay to have the mail sent there.
    • IT IS IMPORTANT TO UPDATE YOUR PHONE NUMBER AND ADDRESS THROUGH THIS WHOLE PROCESS. If you move, you can contact Records.Management@dfps.state.tx.us or call 512-929-6764 or toll free 877-764-7230 to update your address.
  • Under E you will need to read the agreement. If you agree, sign (11) and date the form (11) .

3. Make a copy of your Texas Identification card or Texas Driver's License and your completed request form and letter

If you need help getting your Texas Identification card, you can visit the Texas Foster Youth Justice Project's site at http://texasfosteryouth.org/state_id_card.html. If you need help getting your Texas Driver's License, you can visit the Texas Foster Youth Justice Project's site at http://texasfosteryouth.org/drivers_licence.html.

4. Send the letter and Request for Case Records (Form 4885-G) to DFPS with a copy of your Texas Identification card or Texas Driver's License

Make sure that you mail the letter, the Request for Case Records (Form 4885-G), and a copy of your Texas Identification card or Texas Driver's License. Be sure to make a copy to keep for your records. You will need to mail these documents to:

Department of Family and Protective Services
Attn: RMG (Y-937)
PO Box 149030
Austin, Texas 78714-9030

5. Wait for confirmation letter

You will receive a letter from the Department of Family and Protective Services after around two weeks. This letter confirms your request. It gives you information about their process and how to contact them if you would like to check the status of your request. Be sure to keep this letter in case DFPS asks to see a copy of it when you request an update.

6. Request update

You can check the status of your request through mail, email, or phone. You can mail DFPS a status check of your request at the same address you sent the request to: Department of Family and Protective Services
Attn: RMG (Y-937)
PO Box 149030
Austin, Texas 78714-9030

You call also email Records Management at Records.Management@dfps.state.tx.us or call them at 512-929-6764 or toll free at 877-764-7230.

Be sure to give your name and date of birth so Records Management can find your request. It can be helpful to include the dates of when you sent in your request and when you received the confirmation letter from DFPS. Sometimes the confirmation letter form DFPS includes a reference number. If it does, include this information when asking for a status update. If the reference number was not included, be sure to ask for it and write it down so that you can use it in the future. Make notes about who you talk to, what date you talk to them and what they tell you. Save any emails you receive about the records.

7. Review records

Once you request your records, DFPS will review and redact your records before they give them to you. Redact means that they will take out certain information from the records for legal reasons. Some reasons are that they list the name of the person who reported abuse or the record is solely about another child.

It could take two to six months for you to receive your records depending on how many records there are, how difficult it is to find the records, how many other requests there are, or other issues. You should check at least once a month and if there is an important reason you need them quickly let them know.

DFPS will not contact you before they send you your records. Be sure to keep DPFS updated with your address and phone number! You can contact Records.Management@dfps.state.tx.us or call 512-929-6764 or toll free 877-764-7230.

Once you receive your records, you will need to look over them to make sure you have everything. You should be aware that the records will come on a CD and you will need a computer with Adobe (PDF viewer) to be able to look at them. The records usually are not in order so you will need to make sure you look through them carefully.

You should have various documents from your CPS case and some records from CPS computer system and copies of documents from other people and agencies. CPS records should also include your Health Passport. This will include medical information from around 2008 until the time you were no longer covered the Medicaid for current and former foster youth. (Your Health Passport is not a medical record but it will give you information about the providers you saw, the services you received and medicine prescribed. You can use this information to contact the medical provider to get your medical records. You should also make sure that all the records are there if you were in care multiple times.

If it looks like any of the records are missing, you should contact:

Department of Family and Protective Services
Attn: RMG (Y-937)
PO Box 149030
Austin, Texas 78714-9030

You call also email Records Management at Records.Management@dfps.state.tx.us or call them at 512-929-6764 or toll free at 877-764-7230. If they are unable to resolve the issue, you should ask to speak to a supervisor.

You can find information on the DFPS website about requesting records. Try the link www.dfps.state.tx.us/policies/caserecord.asp or search the web site for request records.

 

 

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