There’s A lot of Truth to what Trans Families in Texas are saying: DFPS Investigations Inflict Trauma

Three families in Texas with transgender kids filed a lawsuit in June to prevent child abuse investigations related to the provision of gender-affirming medical care. The court case resumed only last week. Lawyers for the attorney general claimed before the judge that the families “have not sustained a concrete injury” because their children were not taken away and their DFPS cases were closed.

This way of thinking is common, and it’s why child protection organizations around the country receive and examine millions of reports of possible abuse or neglect each year, despite the fact that more than 80% of the time, no such abuse or neglect was present. However, the AG’s position contradicts all we know about the results of DFPS inquiries.

Even after an investigation has been concluded, it might have serious repercussions. As transgender mother and plaintiff Amber Briggle said, “There is no taking back the devastation that was done upon my family.”

When it comes to company, Briggle certainly doesn’t lack.” I have followed caseworkers while they conducted investigations and spoken with nearly a hundred mothers in Connecticut and Rhode Island who were the focus of these probes. I have seen how these inquiries were frequently terminated prematurely despite the harm they caused.”

Investigators make repeated trips to a house to look in unseen places

Intense surveillance during investigations is another way in which people’s personal lives are invaded. Investigators make repeated trips to a house to look in unseen places like bathrooms and bedrooms, even if they don’t belong to the suspects’ children.

All members of the home are interrogated, including minors; topics of inquiry can range from parental childhood trauma to romantic relationships, and interrogators may even request that children undress. The investigators contact pediatricians and schools as a source of additional data. Parents who fear for their children’s safety often give in to these demands for help.

State systems also record investigations, which can affect any subsequent findings. A Rhode Island mother said, “Once they put your name in the computer, it remains.” Caseworkers put a lot of weight into the client’s background when making decisions.

Suppose DFPS investigators find out a family has been investigated before, even if the allegations were baseless. In that case, it will increase the possibility that the family will be subject to further agency monitoring and add “points” to the family’s risk score.

Families in Texas who have transgender children have fled the state out of fear of DFPS probes

Therefore, parents informed me they wanted to avoid investigations at all costs, even if they were sure their children would remain home despite knowing that studies can lead to services or resources. Families in Texas who have transgender children have fled the state out of fear of DFPS probes.

Caseworkers in the field of child protection are first-hand witnesses to the damage that can be done during an investigation. Current and former DFPS workers expressed concern that they would be “harassing” families if they followed Gov. Greg Abbott’s order to probe families providing gender-affirming therapy.

One New York City child protection worker likened the stress of an investigation to being “stopped and frisked for 60 days.” I met a child protection supervisor in Connecticut who said, “we’re scarring the family” by doing unneeded investigations. However, there were injuries.


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