Law Offices of Johnson & Johnson

The Five Most Frightening Words a Parent Can Hear: “CPS Has Taken The Children”

CPS / DFS Child RemovalsWhen Child Protective Services or the Department of Family Services (CPS/DFS) removes a child from your home, those five words are difficult for any parent to have to say. Let your next step be guided by our highly experienced juvenile dependency attorneys, who will act quickly toward regaining custody of your children when a social worker makes allegations of parental abuse or neglect.

If your child or children were taken due to allegations of physical or sexual abuse by Child Protective Services, an accusation has already been made against you. This means social workers are preparing a court document called a Petition to remove your children from your custody or for a request for court intervention while you have continued custody of your children. (Usually, at this point, social services asks to REMOVE your children from you.)

In a juvenile dependency case, the courts could take jurisdiction over your family due to neglect, physical abuse, sex abuse, or other allegations. CPS/DFS can come unannounced to your home and remove your children. Contacting an attorney immediately can have a positive effect on the outcome of your case.

What Should I Do If My Child Is Removed By CPS In Walnut Creek, California?

Aside from contacting a juvenile dependency attorney, the most important thing to do when your child has been removed from your care is to provide the social worker with contact information for your family members. It is preferred that your child be placed with another parent or a relative, rather than in a foster home or a shelter.

If you want to ensure that your child is not placed with strangers, give all your relatives’ pertinent information to the social worker as soon as possible. You may also ask the social worker to immediately arrange a schedule for frequent visits between you and your child. Unless it is unsafe or inappropriate to do so, you will be permitted to regularly visit your child while you wait for your first court date.

It is extremely important that you attend the first court hearing. This hearing, in most courts, is called a detention hearing. Once your child has been removed, a detention hearing must be held within 24 hours. The social worker will inform you and your juvenile dependency attorney of when and where the detention hearing is to be held in Walnut Creek, CA.

Even when your child has been removed from your care, you have the right to make all educational, religious, and medical decisions for that child. You are allowed to continue to participate in your child’s life, medical treatment, and education. The court can, however, limit your right to make educational decisions, if you fail to respond to communication from your child’s school.

Will I Ever Get My Child Back?

Under the vast majority of circumstances, the court is required to offer you services to help you meet what requirements are necessary for you to have your child returned to your home and your care. The social worker who is assigned to your case will decide which services you need for reunification and will consider your input and the input of your Walnut Creek juvenile dependency attorney.

You will be court-ordered to complete all reunification services. You should then immediately get involved with those services because you have a limited amount of time to complete them before you lose your chance to prevent your parental rights from being terminated. In most cases, you will be given one year to complete all your services. If your child is younger than three years old, you will only have six months to prove that you are committed to finishing all requirements.

After it has been ordered for you to participate in specific reunification services, your next hearing will be scheduled for six months later. If you make enough progress with these services, your child could possibly be returned to you before you reach the next court date. If you believe that it has become safe for your child to be returned to your care, your juvenile dependency attorney can file paperwork asking for your child to be returned to your home in Walnut Creek, CA.

There is no question that the very first steps that you can take as a parent will affect the entire case and this is why contacting a juvenile attorney is extremely important and must be the very first step that you take. Attorney Carin Johnson will respond immediately to your call.

At the Law Offices of Johnson & Johnson, we understand it can be overwhelming to sort out all the legal issues during such an emotional time. This challenge is the reason that you need to have an experienced juvenile dependency attorney on your side. If CPS or DFS is making their case against you, let us help you make your case for keeping your family together.

Together, we will work toward two goals: protecting your child (they are undoubtedly scared and confused) while simultaneously doing ALL that we can to protect your rights as a parent and do whatever is necessary to keep your family together. After an initial investigation, a social worker representing CPS or DFS can file a petition in your child’s name against you for parental abuse or neglect. If you have still not yet spoken to an attorney at this point, contact us now. Attorney Carin Johnson has practiced in the area of Juvenile Dependency for 25 years and can advise you every step of the way.

If your child was taken, a social worker must either release your child (after speaking with you) or file a petition with the court within 48 hours and after that petition is filed the court has 24 hours to get the matter on calendar. For the sake of your family, do not go before the juvenile court without a juvenile dependency lawyer who has been there time and again and helped families just like yours. Don’t go it alone! Let our juvenile dependency attorney give you the legal advice you need to protect your family.

As an interim step, juvenile dependency attorney Carin Johnson can request that your child be released into the custody of another family member, such as grandparents or close family friends. We will inquire immediately about this option and present a list of relatives and non-relative extended family members who can care for your children.

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