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