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Navigating CPS in San Bernardino County: What to Know in 2024

March 9, 2024

Navigating CPS in San Bernardino County: What to Know in 2024

Navigating CPS in San Bernardino County: What to Know in 2024

Venturing into the realm of Child Protective Services (CPS) can be extremely challenging for any parent. The fear of potentially losing your child coupled with the intricate workings of the legal system can create stress and confusion.

San Bernardino County, California, is home Children and Family Services department, who are the CPS agency for the County. For parents finding themselves in the middle of the investigation process or facing a juvenile dependency case, the road ahead may appear uncertain.

This guide aims to equip parents with knowledge about their rights, the investigative process, and what to expect from a juvenile dependency case in San Bernardino County.

Understanding Children and Family Services in San Bernardino County

San Bernardino County’s Department of Children and Family Services (CFS) is comprehensive, with social workers, attorneys, and support staff. Their primary mandate is to maintain child safety by investigating abuse or neglect allegations, collaborating with necessary law enforcement agencies, and removing children from their homes if they suspect abuse.

The Investigation Process

Upon receiving reports of child abuse or neglect, the CFS swings into action. This involves evidence gathering, interviews with the child and the accused, home visits, and cooperation with relevant medical and educational professionals.

The social workers say that these investigations is to ensure the child’s immediate safety, gather information about the family situation, and decide on the need for continuous child protection services.

However, a lot of these investigations lead to juvenile dependency cases being opened and kids being removed from their homes.

Defining Child Abuse and Neglect Under WIC 300

Understanding what California law defines as child abuse or neglect is essential for navigating the system. WIC 300 provides the legal basis for removing a child from their home if they are at risk of suffering abuse or harm.

This statute outlines numerous risk factors, including physical or emotional abuse, sexual abuse, and severe neglect, leading to legal intervention.

Under WIC 300, child abuse and neglect encompass a range of behaviors and conditions. Here’s a more detailed list:

Child Abuse:

  1. Physical Abuse: Any non-accidental injury inflicted upon a child, such as hitting, kicking, burning, or otherwise causing bodily harm.
  2. Emotional Abuse: Psychological maltreatment, including verbal abuse, threats, intimidation, rejection, or other behaviors that cause emotional harm.
  3. Sexual Abuse: Any sexual activity or exploitation involving a child, including molestation, rape, incest, or exposure to inappropriate sexual material.
  4. Exploitation: Taking advantage of a child for personal or financial gain, such as through child labor, trafficking, or involvement in illegal activities.
  5. Abandonment: Desertion or willful neglect of a child, including leaving a child without adequate supervision or care.

Child Neglect:

  1. Physical Neglect: Failure to provide basic needs, including food, shelter, clothing, medical care, or supervision, resulting in physical harm or risk to the child’s health or safety.
  2. Educational Neglect: Failure to ensure a child’s attendance at school or provide necessary educational support, resulting in educational harm or impairment.
  3. Emotional Neglect: Failure to meet a child’s emotional needs, including affection, support, or nurturing, resulting in emotional harm or developmental delays.
  4. Medical Neglect: Failure to provide necessary medical or mental health care for a child’s physical or emotional well-being, resulting in harm or worsening conditions.
  5. Environmental Neglect: Exposing a child to unsafe or unsanitary living conditions, such as hazardous substances, dangerous environments, or inadequate housing.

These categories encompass various forms of abuse and neglect that can warrant intervention by Child Protective Services to ensure the safety and well-being of children.

Turning an Investigation into a Juvenile Dependency Case

If a social worker determines that a child is not safe at home, kids may be removed from the home and the case may move to juvenile dependency court. This is a legal process where the court, social workers, and attorneys collaborate to decide where a child should live and under what circumstances.

Location of Juvenile Dependency Courts in San Bernardino County

San Bernardino County is geographically extensive, and parents often wonder about the locations of the courts they might need to visit. The county has several juvenile dependency courts in cities like San Bernardino, Rancho Cucamonga, and Victorville. Knowing which court will handle your case is a crucial piece of information ahead of any hearings.

Juvenile dependency cases can be emotionally intense and legally complex. For parents entering this stage, preparedness, consultation with a skilled lawyer, and understanding the proceedings can make a significant difference.

Finding an attorney knowledgeable in juvenile dependency cases is a critical first step. Legal counsel can advise on rights, responsibilities, and the likely direction of the case.

Participation in Case Planning

Parents involved in a juvenile dependency case are typically required to engage in a case plan aimed at addressing the issues that led to the removal of the child. This may include therapy, parental education, or substance abuse treatment.

Juvenile dependency cases may involve multiple court hearings, each with its own significance. It’s vital for parents to attend these hearings and understand the discussions. These hearings are the platform to express your concerns, present evidence, and demonstrate the progress made in addressing the identified issues.

The process of child abuse investigation and juvenile dependency cases can make parents feel powerless. However, proactive preparation, seeking legal advice, understanding the legal environment, and active participation in the case can significantly influence the outcome.

WHAT SHOULD YOU IF I NEED A CPS LAWYER IN SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY?

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 juvenile 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 juvenile 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.

San Bernardino CPS Lawyer Offices

Final Thought

While dealing with CPS and the juvenile dependency court may seem daunting, parents must remember that the system’s ultimate goal is the welfare of the child. By understanding the process and actively engaging with it, parents can better advocate for their rights and the future of their family.

For more specific advice, consulting with a legal professional or seeking local counsel from support organizations is recommended. Remember, in times of uncertainty, preparation and knowledge are your strongest allies.

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