When social workers and Child Protective Services (CPS) come knocking on your door, it can be frightening. When your children get removed from your home, it can be devastating. But there’s hope – you may be able to get your kids back. Hiring the right Juvenile Dependency / CPS Lawyer can differentiate between getting your kids back or having your parental rights terminated.
What is a Juvenile Dependency / CPS Case?
Juvenile dependency court is the section of the court system that handles cases where parents are under investigation for child abuse, child neglect, child endangerment, or inadequate child care. The laws governing dependency courts can be found within the California Welfare and Institutions Code (WIC § 300 et seq.).
Dependency court is supposed to be a rehabilitative process. It allows parents to take responsibility for their actions and become better parents to their children. The dependency court enables parents to step up and take accountability to bring their children home.
Dependency court is focused on the child’s safety and well-being. The dependency court has a legal obligation to protect minors within its jurisdiction. Unlike criminal court, juvenile dependency matters are confidential under WIC § 827. Due to the strict confidentiality laws, the courts cannot provide any information over the phone because photo identification cannot be verified. The courts cannot even confirm whether a juvenile case matter is open or any record files.
How do I get my kids back?
Every juvenile dependency / CPS case is unique to that child and the involved parent. There is no one size fits all solution. Your experienced attorney will know what your legal rights are and will be able to explain to you what the best next steps are. Your attorney will work with you to create a plan to try to have your child returned to you. These steps may include following court orders, participating in reunification services, visiting your child, and participating in specific programs.
Juvenile dependency proceedings can be difficult to navigate and cause feelings of fear or doubt, especially as a child in the home or a parent caught completely off-guard by the allegations. Your CPS attorney will be able to answer any questions that you might have.