Child/Adult Protection

The Child/Adult Protection Section represents Child Protective Services (CPS) in civil lawsuits filed by that agency that affect the parent-child relationship.  These prosecutors are responsible for handling all aspects of a case, from the time a child is removed from the home and the agency asks the court to order the parent(s) to undergo services or treatment in order to be a better parent through the conclusion of the case.  Such duties include representing the agency at all court hearings and trials, producing and responding to civil discovery, taking and defending depositions, participating in mediations, participating in case-related meetings, and providing legal counsel and training to Department of Family and Protective Services caseworkers and supervisors.

The Child/Adult Protection Section strives to ensure that every child in Collin County is raised in a safe and stable environment.  The paramount concern is what is in the best interest of the child.  Unfortunately, this sometimes means a parent’s rights must be restricted or terminated.  The Collin County District Attorney’s Office recognizes that parents enjoy a fundamental right to make decisions concerning the care, custody, and control of their children, and that so long as a parent adequately cares for his or her children (i.e., is fit), there will normally be no reason for the State to inject itself into the private realm of the family.

The Child/Adult Protection Section also periodically provides legal counsel and represents Adult Protective Services (APS) in civil law suits filed by that agency when the State Regional Attorney is not available.  These prosecutors represent APS when that agency is seeking emergency protection of an elderly or disabled person.  In an emergency situation, these prosecutors are responsible for reviewing and filing petitions and supporting documents that set forth the reasons for emergency intervention, and they appear in Probate Court on behalf of APS.  The Family Justice Division chief also serves as an appointed member of the Adult Protective Services Special Task Unit (APS STU).  The purpose of the APS STU is to improve the response to adults who are elderly or have disabilities and are victims of abuse, neglect, or exploitation.

The Child/Adult Protection Section strives to ensure that each elderly and disabled person is not mistreated or exploited.  This section is also committed to teaching our community how to recognize the warning signs of elder and disabled adult abuse.  The paramount goal of continued education is that suspected abuse and exploitation of elder and disabled adults will be reported and the victims will receive protection and assistance.

FAQs:  Reporting Child or Adult Abuse
Q: How do I make a report of abuse or neglect to a child or an adult?
A:  State law requires all reports of abuse and neglect to go through Statewide Centralized Intake.  When you make a report, you will be asked to designate whether your report involves a child (CPS) or an adult (APS). Reports can be made by phone or on-line:
Phone:  (800) 252-5400

Alyson M. Dietrich, Chief of the Family Justice Division, completed the College of Communications Senior Fellow Honors Program and received her Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Texas at Austin in 1996. She received her Juris Doctorate from Texas Tech University School of Law in 1999. During law school, Ms. Dietrich was selected to serve as a member of the Board of Barristers and interned for both the Federal Public Defender’s Office and the United States Attorney’s Office. Since joining the Collin County Criminal District Attorney’s Office in 1999, Ms. Dietrich has served in the Intake Section of the Grand Jury/Intake Division, the Misdemeanor Trial Division, the Felony Trial Division, and the Child/Adult Protection Section of the Family Justice Division. Ms. Dietrich was presented the Outstanding Young Lawyer of Collin County Award for 2002–2003 and 2004–2005. Ms. Dietrich has also co-chaired Collin County National Adoption Day each year since the program began in 2005. Ms. Dietrich has served or is presently serving on the following boards and community organizations: Collin County Council on Family Violence, Adult Protective Services Special Task Unit, Collin County Child Fatality Review Team, Collin County Bench/Bar Foundation, Curt B. Henderson American Inn of Court, and the Collin County Young Lawyers Association.

Alyson M. Dietrich, Chief of the Family Justice Division – Ext.

Jonathan Richardson, Felony Prosecutor – Ext.

Sarah Cary, Felony Prosecutor – Ext.

Emily Reichert, Felony Prosecutor – Ext.

Chad Smith, Felony Investigator – Ext.

Jared Clark, Felony Investigator – Ext. 3618;

Nancy Lloyd, Legal II Secretary – Ext.

Crissy Bishop, Legal Secretary – Ext.