Having a child removed from one’s home, or even the threat of this, is one of the worst life stresses a parent or caregiver can face.
Child Protective Services (CPS) is the county agency designated for the protection of minors. The Juvenile Dependency Court is set up to monitor these removals and has as a stated goal “to preserve the child’s safety, while preserving the family.”
Many people, when contacted by CPS, feel confused about the investigative role of CPS and uncertain about their rights and obligations. Because this court is a non-public court in which CPS is allowed to use statements and hearsay evidence in their filings, people caring for a child often have no understanding of the written and unwritten procedures and policies operating within the system.
The Juvenile Dependency Court consists of many laws and rules that are set forth in the W & I Code. It also involves many players, and one can feel overwhelmed by its complexities.
In most situations, it is best to meet and confer with a legal professional if you or a family member is involved with CPS or in dependency court proceedings.
My office would be happy to set up an appointment.