There are a few steps that can and will occur before you get to a review hearing. The process begins when Child Protective Services (CPS) files a petition with the court stating that a child is not safe by living with their parents and why this is the case.
During a Detention Hearing, the parties are shown the petition that was submitted, the parents are told what can ultimately happen, and the court will determine where the child should reside in the interim. The court will not rule on the validity of the petition until a Jurisdictional Hearing. If the court decides that the petition is true, then a Disposition Hearing will be conducted.
Even if the court decides that the petition is true, this does not guarantee that the child will be removed or taken from the parents. If it is in the best interest of the child, they might stay with the parents while a social worker tracks and supervises, or the children might be moved in with a relative or with a foster family.
The 6-month review is to formally establish how the child is doing. Furthermore, the court is also checking on the parents as well. It is possible, however, for the case to be dismissed. If the child was allowed to live with you, for instance, and the CPS supervision has gone well, then this could be the last time you’re in a courtroom.
Another possible outcome is that everything could continue as it was. If the child was put into foster care, there’s a chance that they could be returned to the parents with the condition that CPS supervises and monitors.
The focus of the 12-month review is to establish something more permanent. A common theme throughout this process is that the court wants what is in the best interest of the child. Even after a year, the courts can still decide to return the child to the parents.
If that does not occur, one of two things could happen. If the court doesn’t see that there is any potential for the child to be reunited with their parents permanently, then a hearing will be set to decide on a permanent plan for where the child will live.
Should the court believe that there is still a chance the parents can provide a sufficient and safe home, then services will continue for another six months.
There are only two outcomes here: either the child is reunited with their parents, or all services are canceled so that the child can be placed in a permanent home. This could include terminating the parental rights and placing the child for adoption so it is vital that you work with your attorney throughout the process and make progress in your case plan so that this does not happen.
If you are facing a juvenile dependency case and are located in either Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino, or Marin County, the Carroll Law Offices can assist you. Not only are we well qualified to advise you on legal issues within Family Law, but we are only of the few firms that handle Juvenile Dependency cases. Contact us online to schedule a free consultation, so we can begin working on your case.
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