For Immediate Release
Contact Jeremy Newman,
Director of Public Policy, THSC
DALLAS, TEXAS—In December 2019, CPS dismissed its case and dropped all allegations against the Pardo family after the family’s story went viral online and an order from the Texas Supreme Court chastised the agency for its actions.
Now, CPS has placed the family on the Child Abuse Registry.
After CPS illegally removed then four-year-old Drake Pardo from his home in June 2019, the petition for Drake’s return was signed by 43,000 people, the video of his case received more than 2.4 million views, $130,000 was raised for his defense, the Texas Supreme Court ordered that Drake be returned home, and CPS finally dismissed the case.
Now, even though the family was cleared of all charges in court, the agency has placed them on the Child Abuse Registry.
Once on the registry, a family’s designation as a “child abuser” stays on their record, shows up on background checks, and can prevent the family from obtaining employment or even volunteering at their child’s school and church activities.
Regardless of whether a family was ever found guilty of abuse or neglect, CPS has the sole authority to place a family on the registry. As with the Pardos, parents who are completely innocent can be listed as “child abusers” at the will of CPS.
Innocent families like the Pardos can be placed on the registry right alongside people who commit horrible crimes against their children, such as starving, beating, torturing or killing them. No judge is involved in the decision.
The family’s legal team is now appealing to the Office of Consumer Relations (OCR), an office within CPS tasked with reviewing appeals, asking that the family be immediately removed from the registry.
Last year, the Pardos suffered traumatic injustice at the hands of CPS. Drake spent four months in foster care and the Pardos fought six months in court before finally being cleared of all charges. Now, this innocent family is being punished anyway.
CPS protects thousands of children every year who desperately need their assistance, but this type of abuse of innocent families causes the agency to become the source of harm to a child instead of that child’s protector.
Texas Home School Coalition (THSC) has launched a petition in defense of the Pardo family, who are THSC members. THSC is raising funds to help cover the family’s legal fees to fight their unjust placement on the Child Abuse Registry.