Most parents don’t experience involvement with the court system while raising their children; sometimes cases arise where the state feels the need to step in. This often occurs in abuse or neglect matters, and it can also occur in a Child in Need of Care case where the court decides if and how the state will become involved to protect a child.
Interested parties, which include persons who are not the parents of the child in need of care, may participate in the proceedings. Any interested party to the case has the right to hire a lawyer to represent them in the case. The hearings and procedures may be confusing, and the timeline may be drawn out and intense. However, the following are helpful, need-to-know, and explanatory terms regarding a Child in Need of Care case so you can properly prepare yourself and understand the process.
Child in Need of Care Case Procedures
A Child in Need of Care case begins with someone, usually the county or district attorney, filing a petition that says the court needs to intervene on behalf of this child and its well-being. At the outset, all interested parties are required to be notified, either in court or by mail, about involvement and dates for hearings and other proceedings. All interested parties are also able to participate throughout the process by providing evidence and testimony at hearings and other instances, although in some situations the court decides that it is not in the child’s best interest to do so.
A Permanency Plan is created at the outset of the case to identify outcome goals and specifications regarding the help the family needs and requirements that must be met. In some instances, the child may be removed from the home if there is substantial reason to believe he or she may be harmed. Temporary Custody may be issued to a family member or the child may be placed in foster care for the duration of the case or until the court feels it is no longer necessary.
Depending on how the case proceeds and what evolutions take place regarding the health and stability of the child’s parents and the details of the allegations, the case may proceed quickly or be drawn out for over a year. Various Permanency hearings will be held in order for the judge to monitor the progress of the case and for parents to exemplify they are completing necessary requirements. If parents cannot display they have made achievements showing they are not fit to parent, their parental rights may eventually be terminated.
Contact an Experienced Kansas Child and Family Law Attorney Today to Discuss Your Matter
Child in Need of Care cases are not always easy, but there is assistance available and the help of an experienced attorney can expedite the process. Kansas Family Law Attorney Tom McDowell has decades of experience helping families of all dynamics handle their cases for the best interest of the child. Contact McDowell Chartered Legal Services today at (316) 633-4322 to see how we can help you and your family’s needs.