All About The Juvenile Dependency Petition Process

The state is allowed by the law to come into the family set up to seek the protection of a child from harm within. This is called juvenile dependency action. A dependent child is a child who has been abandoned, abused or neglected or has no parent or guardian.

When seeking for dependency the first step is protective custody. This is where the judge rules whether the child is safe at home or if they should be under care in an out of home situation. The members of law enforcement are tasked with removing the child from the apparent risk and placing them in a place that is safer for 72 hours. This also provides an opportunity to address the problems that the state deemed fit to get involved.

The holding for the minors is usually in foster home offering emergency services. The 72 hours is also a chance for investigations into the case and the evidence gathered used to determine the case. The case is dismissed if there is no risk found. The dismissal may also be under the condition of provision of specified services to the family. Another outcome is a dependency petition for the teenager.

The process of petitioning dependency is long. The first hearing is the detention hearing. This is after the 72 hour period and using the intake report the judge makes a ruling regarding the evidence for prolonged detention of the child. A court briefs the parents on the proceedings. The outcome is that the judge may release or detain the teenager awaiting a jurisdictional hearing.

Where the minor is detained, the court begins investigations and makes a report which seeks to address the family history. It also seeks to report about any continued risk to the juvenile and suggests a plan on where to place and reunify the child. Family visitation is also arranged.

Within 15 days after a detention hearing, jurisdictional hearing takes place. The report made to the tribunal is used to make a decision about the dependency of the juvenile. The result is that the child may be released if case is dismissed or he or she may become dependent.

If the child is adjudicated as dependent, a disposition hearing follows the jurisdictional hearing immediately. Using the court report, the judge makes a ruling regarding minor placement and gives court orders in how the reunification should be carried out.

Often, periodic hearings are held to review the situation of both the parents and the kid. At 6 months the court reviews whether the situation has improved for the parents and how the kid is coping. A 12 and 18 month review is held to determine if the parents are ready for their child back. An implementation hearing is held to give permanent plans to the children. Of course the most permanent is adoption.

Dependency petition is a lengthy and emotionally difficult for both parents and children. Hiring an attorney is advisable so that you do not have to do all the court work. Remember to cooperate fully with the court, attorneys and Social Services to get your child back as soon as possible.

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