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Juvenile Dependency Court in Riverside County, California: An Overview in 2024

January 13, 2024

Juvenile Dependency Court In Riverside County California

Juvenile Dependency Court in Riverside County, California: An Overview

As a parent, the idea of losing custody of your child can be devastating. But unfortunately, incidents of child abuse and neglect are all too common. 

That’s where juvenile dependency court comes in – it serves as a means of protecting children who have suffered mistreatment and providing them with a safe and nurturing environment. 

This article will provide an overview of juvenile dependency court, including what constitutes child abuse and neglect under WIC 300, the role of social workers in these cases, how long these cases can last, and how a substantiated finding can lead to termination of parental rights.

What is Juvenile Dependency Court?

Juvenile dependency court is a specialized court in California that handles cases related to child abuse and neglect. Its main goal is to protect children from harm and provide them with a stable environment. 

The social workers at the Department of Public Social Services (DPSS), also known as Child Protective Services (CPS) are the ones who investigate allegations of abuse or neglect. They report back to the County Counsel, who represent the government in Juvenile Dependency Court in Riverside.

When a child is removed from their home due to abuse or neglect, the court steps in to determine the next steps. This may involve placing the child in foster care, reunifying them with their family, or in severe cases, terminating the parental rights altogether.

Child Abuse and Neglect Under WIC 300

WIC 300, part of the California Welfare and Institutions Code, outlines what constitutes child abuse and neglect. 

According to WIC 300, a child can be removed from their home if they suffer from physical abuse, sexual abuse, or neglect.

 Physical abuse involves hitting, shaking, or other forms of physical violence. Sexual abuse refers to sexual exploitation, molestation, or rape. Neglect encompasses failure to provide a child with adequate food, clothing, shelter, or medical care.

Examples of Child Abuse and Neglect

Here are a few examples of child abuse and neglect:

  • Physical abuse: Striking a child with an object and causing bruises or welts
  • Sexual abuse: Forcing a child to participate in sexual acts or exploiting them for pornography
  • Neglect: Leaving a child alone for extended periods without sufficient food, clothing, or shelter

The Role of Social Workers in Juvenile Dependency Court in Riverside

Social workers play a crucial role in cases handled by juvenile dependency court. They are responsible for investigating abuse or neglect allegations and recommending the best course of action for the child to the court. 

They testify in court and tell the judge and the attorney what they did during their investigation and why they believe there is child abuse or neglect. 

They also provide services to families to help them address the issues that led to the removal of their child, such as counseling, parenting classes, drug or alcohol treatment, or other necessary services.

How Long Juvenile Dependency Cases Can Last

The duration of a juvenile dependency case can range from a few months to several years. The case length depends on the circumstances surrounding the abuse or neglect and the family’s progress in addressing the issues. 

The court typically reviews the case every six months to assess whether the child can be reunited with their family or if alternative arrangements are needed.

Substantiated Finding and Termination of Parental Rights

A substantiated finding is a court determination that abuse or neglect has occurred. If such a finding is made, the court may terminate the offender’s parental rights and place the child for adoption. 

Termination of parental rights is a permanent and irreversible decision only made in the child’s best interest in extreme cases.


If you have been accused of abuse or neglect, or facing juvenile dependency cases in Riverside County, it is crucial to get an attorney as soon as possible.

You deserve to have a lawyer 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 Orange County, California, or Southern California, you need the juvenile dependency attorneys at ALL Trial Lawyers by your side.

Don’t risk calling the wrong lawyer. If DPSS or 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 Riverside County, Los Angeles CountyOrange CountySan Diego County, and San Bernardino County.

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

Call us now to speak to a lawyer and for your free consultation. Call (866) 811-4255.

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

Our Riverside CPS Lawyer Office Location

Conclusion and Recap of Riverside CPS Lawyer in Riverside County

In conclusion, the juvenile dependency court in Riverside County, California, is a critical system that helps protect children from abuse and neglect.

Understanding what constitutes child abuse and neglect under WIC 300, the role of social workers in these cases, and the potential consequences of a substantiated finding, including termination of parental rights, is essential for anyone who may find themselves involved in a CPS case.

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