When agencies such as Child Protective Services or Child, Youth, and Family Services are involved, it takes a tremendous toll on families who want to be reunited. It is important to have a skilled attorney during all the stages to ensure your rights are protected and that you have the best chance at reunification.
Depending on the circumstances, if child services has taken protective custody of a child, the process can be as follows:
1. An agency files a petition with the local court alleging that the child is “Dependent.” Several laws can define a child as Dependent.
2. If the petition is granted, an agency takes custody, and a hearing is usually held within 72 hours to determine if custody by the agency should continue.
3. If agency custody has continued, another hearing is usually held within 10 days to determine if the child should be declared as Dependent. Often, the agency gives its recommendations as to what services should be provided to the children and/or parents.
4. Then, another hearing is held where the court will order several tasks to be completed, including, but not limited to services to be completed. These can include services, continued placement, rehabilitation (substance and non-substance related), et cetera.
As you can see, the process is very complicated, but there are many opportunities to safeguard your rights. Once a child is declared Dependent, there is a very small appeal window that many often miss.
Contact our office as soon as possible so we can begin working. We will contact the agency and caseworkers to ensure they are meeting their burden of proof, and if they are not, we will work tirelessly to show the court any errors and attempt to reunite your family.
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You can call (412) 532-8434 or complete the form below. There is no obligation to retain our services, but we must properly assess your case. We will respond to your inquiry within 24 business hours.
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