December 1, 2014 By Paul Wallin

If your child has been removed from your home by law enforcement officers or Child Protective Services (CPS) workers employed by the California Department of Social Services (CDSS), your custody rights are in jeopardy. Whether you can regain custody of your child depends on whether you abused or neglected your child and how you intend to remediate the situation.

The 3 Reasons Why Your Child Can Be Taken From You

Under Welfare and Institutions Code Section 300, your child can be removed from your home if:

  • Your child has suffered, or there is a substantial risk that he or she will suffer, serious physical harm inflicted by you or their guardian.
  • Your child has suffered, or there is a substantial risk that he or she will suffer, serious physical harm or illness because you or their guardian have failed to adequately protect your child from the child’s custodian.
  • You or the guardian of the child have willfully or negligently failed to provide your child with adequate food, clothing, shelter, or medical treatment.[i]

What Are the Next Steps After My Child Has Been Removed?

The juvenile court system oversees the placement of children who have been removed from their parent’s home. Typically, children who have been removed from their home are put in the care of a relative or appropriate guardian, or foster care. Within two days of the removal, the court holds a detention hearing to determine if the child should be returned to the parent or remain in an alternate location. Your best option is to hire an experienced child dependency attorney right away to appear in court with you and increase your chances of having your child returned to you immediately.

If your child is not returned to you at the detention hearing, the judge will order social worers to provide services to you and complete further assessment regarding the child’s safety in your home. The court will schedule a trial, referred to as a jurisdiction hearing, within 15 days of the detention hearing.[ii] If your child is returned to you, the judge may order you to participate in services until the next hearing.

What Happens Next?

As the process of evaluation moves forward, the steps that you take, and the welfare of your child, will be assessed according to a schedule set by the court. The court will not immediately terminate your parental rights. However, your custody rights may be temporarily suspended.

DCSS will give you time to make changes in your behavior through a case plan. Each case plan is different. If you have a substance abuse problem, you may have to complete treatment successfully. If you are lacking in parenting skills, you may have to complete a parenting class. If you do not have a stable income, you may be required to find employment or complete the process of signing up for government assistance.

Once you complete the necessary steps of your case plan, your attorney can help you regain full custody of your child. If you do not make sufficient progress, the court may terminate your parental rights.

Call the Child Dependency Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich

If your child has been taken from your home, you need to call a skilled child dependency attorney at Wallin & Klarich immediately. Our firm has over 30 years of experience successfully helping families stay united. We can advise you as to how to complete a case plan, challenge the juvenile court or CPS worker’s findings.

We have offices located in Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, Tustin, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina and Victorville.

Call us today at (888) 749-7428 for a free phone consultation. We will be there when you call.

[i] Calif. Welfare & Institutions Code § 300(a) and (b)(1).

[ii] Calif. Welfare & Institutions Code § 361.3.


  1. I need help, I am sole parent of my 3 year old daughter , father is not on birth certificate . CPS wrongfully took my daughter out of my home while a babysitter was watching her , they said because of a dirty diaper. They were called by police officers who were at my home looking for my exboyfriend because he had an active warrant and they thought o was huffing him here . I was not and had not seen him in three weeks. They maliciously called CPS after detaining my babysitter in handcuffs for three hours and refused my phone calls and didnt even call me to tell me what was going on in the home . They took her and told me to pick her up the next morning , I tried they built a case over night by using some information that who knows who told them and some past mistakes that I had years ago . I’m 44 my daughter is three the father never signed the birth certificate . I have completely complied sbd am doing everything they want from me, a job, government assistance, counseling, parenting classes , and aa meetings, I dont drink I dont use drugs and they accused me of doing drugs but have not yet tested . They now are saying they want to foster her out ? I have family in Kansas wanting to take Lilly in and I am willing to either move there or drive or fly there every week to see her regularly withey will not comply , now they say they want to talk to the father for his approval. He is in jail , and he is not on the birth certificate .

    1. Hello Elizabeth,

      Thank you for reaching out to us. We need to know much more about your case so we can advise you on how to proceed and how we may be able to help. Please reach out to us at (714) 730-5300 so we can discuss your case. We have also sent you an email.

      We look forward to speaking with you soon.

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