When your child is in trouble, or
your parental rights find trouble of their own, talk
to a juvenile law attorney to prevent your child
from being taken from your custody. At The Law Offices of
Johnson & Johnson,
our juvenile dependency attorney will agressively defend
your family's rights in juvenile dependency / CPS cases.
The Law Offices of Johnson & Johnson helps families throughout the Bay Area
get through difficult personal and legal times. Our lead juvenile law attorney,
Carin Johnson, has more than 20 years of experience handling both juvenile dependency
and CPS proceedings.
Can I Contact My Child If CPS/CFS
Takes Him or Her Away?
If Child Protective Services (or Child Family Services) removes your child from
the home, you have a right under juvenile law to be allowed to contact your child
by phone within five hours of the removal, depending on the age of the child.
This right may only be denied if CPS/CFS determines that telephone contact would
be detrimental to the child, and your attorney may fight that determination so
that you are allowed phone contact. Often parents are not informed of their rights
by social services.
What Are the Next Steps After CPS/CFS
Removes My Child From the Home?
Contact a CPS attorney
immediately. You run a serious risk of losing custody
of your children almost immediately if you do not have
knowledgeable assistance from an experienced juvenile
Within 48 hours after the child is removed from the home, CPS/CFS must either
release the child or petition for a detention hearing. At a detention
a judge will decide whether to return your child to your custody or keep the
child away from you until a complete trial on the allegations of abuse or neglect
can be held.
What happens in Dependency
The Juvenile court system is very different than “regular” courts. By law, all
juvenile court proceedings are confidential and closed to the public. Only the
parent, attorneys and social workers are allowed. Parents usually first find
out what the allegations are at a hearing called the Prima
Facia. If there isn’t enough evidence to detain the children, then the
Court may release them. However, this is a fairly low standard of proof, and
most cases will proceed to a jurisdictional hearing.
What happens after the Court
detains my children?
If the Court decides there is enough evidence in the petition to detain your
children, then a type of trial known as a jurisdictional hearing is held. Your
attorney at the Law Offices of Johnson & Johnson will advocate diligently,
compassionately and completely for you and your presumption of innocence, while
seeking to prove that the allegations of abuse or neglect are false and that
the county CPS/CFS office cannot prove its case. Several outcomes are possible
after a jurisdictional hearing, including: dismissal of the allegations or return
of your children with informal supervision or a formal case plan. If, however,
the county meets its burden of proof, then the county will retain control over
your children until a dispositional hearing. However, at all stages of the juvenile
dependency matter, an experienced juvenile law attorney will aggressively advocate
that the children remain in your custody despite court involvement.
At the dispositional hearing, the county will present a case plan of services
it believes the parent needs before the child can be returned. The dispositional
hearing gives your juvenile law attorney another opportunity to argue for dismissal
of the charges, for a more manageable case plan, custody of your children and/or
for extended visitation periods.