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Failure to Protect in Juvenile Dependency Cases in Orange County

June 17, 2024

Failure to Protect in Juvenile Dependency Cases in Orange County. ALL Trial Lawyers is the best juvenile dependency law firm in Orange County.

Failure to Protect in Juvenile Dependency Cases in Orange County

In juvenile dependency cases, “failure to protect” refers to a situation where a parent or guardian has not taken adequate steps to prevent harm or abuse to a child.

This concept is pivotal in determining whether a child should be removed from their home and placed under the state’s or another guardian’s care.

Here’s a more detailed breakdown of what “failure to protect” entails:

Definition of Failure to Protect

Failure to protect is defined as a parent’s or guardian’s inability or unwillingness to take necessary actions to safeguard their child from abuse, neglect, or other forms of harm. This can include physical, emotional, sexual abuse or neglect.

The failure can be due to direct action, such as leaving a child in a harmful situation, or inaction, such as not intervening when aware of potential harm.

Key Elements of Failure to Protect

  1. Knowledge of Risk: The parent or guardian knew or should have known about the risk of harm to the child.
  2. Lack of Action: Despite knowing about the risk, the parent or guardian failed to take reasonable steps to prevent the harm.
  3. Resulting Harm or Danger: The child either suffers harm or is placed in a situation where harm is likely to occur due to the parent’s or guardian’s inaction.

Examples of Failure to Protect

  • Exposure to Domestic Violence: Allowing a child to be exposed to domestic violence without taking steps to remove them from the situation.
  • Substance Abuse: Failing to address a situation where a caregiver’s substance abuse poses a threat to the child’s well-being.
  • Sexual Abuse: Not acting to protect a child when there are signs of sexual abuse or not preventing known offenders from having access to the child.
  • Medical Neglect: Not seeking necessary medical treatment for a child when aware of a severe health issue.

Legal Implications in California

In California, failure to protect is a significant factor in juvenile dependency cases and can lead to:

  • Removal from Home: The child may be removed from the home and placed in foster care or with another guardian.
  • Court-Ordered Services: Parents may be required to participate in counseling, parenting classes, or substance abuse treatment services.
  • Termination of Parental Rights: In severe cases, failure to protect can lead to the termination of parental rights, especially if the parent shows no improvement or willingness to change.
  • Criminal Charges: The District Attorney may decide to file child abuse or child endangerment charges against the parent.

Assessing Failure to Protect

The court considers several factors when assessing failure to protect, including:

  • Severity and Frequency: How severe and frequent the harm or risk of harm is.
  • Parent’s Actions: What steps did the parent or guardian take or fail to take to prevent the harm?
  • Child’s Safety and Well-being: The overall impact on the child’s safety, health, and emotional well-being.


If you have been accused of abuse or neglect, it is crucial to get an experienced child abuse lawyer as soon as possible.

You deserve to have a child dependency attorney who will help you fight to get your children back. If you are dealing with a juvenile dependency case, child-welfare services case, or CPS case in California, you need the child dependency attorneys at ALL Trial Lawyers by your side.

Don’t risk calling the wrong lawyer. If CPS is investigating you, you do not have to deal with them alone. 

We know how the juvenile court process in California works. We have handled hundreds of juvenile dependency cases in Orange CountySan Diego CountyLos Angeles CountySan Bernardino County, and Riverside County.

Whether you are in Newport BeachIrvineFullertonLaguna HillsMission ViejoGarden GroveAnaheim, or any city in Orange County, we are here to help.

We have an office located near you, and we’re ready to start working on your case.

Call us now to speak to a CPS lawyer and for your free consultation. Call (866) 963-0892.

Dealing with a CPS case can be scary. You don’t have to face a CPS case alone.

Our Orange County Juvenile Dependency Lawyers Offices


Failure to protect is a critical concept in juvenile dependency cases, reflecting the responsibility of parents and guardians to safeguard their children from harm.

In California, this failure can lead to significant legal consequences, including removing the child from the home and possibly terminating parental rights. U

nderstanding this concept is vital for parents involved in dependency cases to ensure they take appropriate steps to protect their children and address any issues that may arise.


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