When Child Protective Services or Child, Youth, and Family Services gets involved, it takes a tremendous toll on families who just want to be reunited. It is important to have a skilled attorney during all stages to ensure your rights are protected and that you have the best chance at reunification as soon as possible.
Depending on the particular circumstances, if child services has taken protective custody of a child, the process can be as follows:
1. The Agency files a petition with the local court alleging that the child is dependent. Several laws define a child as "Dependent."
2. If the petition is granted, the Agency takes protective custody, and a hearing is held within 72 hours to determine if protective custody should continue.
3. If protective custody has continued, an "Adjudication Hearing" is held within 10 days to determine if the child should be adjudicated as Dependent. Often, the Agency gives its recommendations as to what services should be provided to the children and or parents.
4. Within 20 days, a "Disposition Hearing" is held where the court will order several tasks to be completed, including, but not limited to services to be completed and the continued placement of the child.
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 people often miss.
Contact our office as soon as possible so we can begin working on your behalf. 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 to reunite your family.
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You can call (412) 448-2326 or complete the form below. There is no obligation to retain our services, but we need to properly assess your case. We will respond to your inquiry within 24 business hours.
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