When Your Child has Been Taken Away From You
Once an allegation has been made, the Department of Human Services begins an investigation that can lead to the removal of the child from the home. If your child is removed from your custody, the court will notify you in writing. Through a series of several court hearings, you have the opportunity to tell your side of the story and convince the court that the child can safely live with you. At the adjudication hearing or trial, the court decides if the child has been abused or neglected. The court may also determine at that time if it is in your child’s best interests to remain in the custody of the Department of Human Services, be placed in the custody of someone else or return home. The court also approves a plan for services to be provided to you and your child by the caseworker assigned to your case.
Over the course of several months, the court conducts review hearings to determine the status of the child, the progress of the case plan and the resolution of the issues that prompted the investigation. The court has 12 months to conduct a separate court hearing to determine a permanent placement for your child. In doing so, the court considers the recommendations of the caseworker and other evidence to determine the best interests of your child. The possible resolutions of the case include:
- Returning the child to your custody
- Continuing the case plan with the goal of returning the child to your custody
- Terminating your parental rights (requires a separate court hearing)
- Placing your child in the permanent custody of someone else
- Allowing the child to remain in foster care until the child can learn how to be independent
Getting your children can back can take a very long time, but at Huffman Butler, PLLC
one of our juvenile law attorneys can help, while drawing on our legal team’s more than 20 years of combined experience practicing family law in Saline County. If your child has been taken into protective custody because of allegations of physical, emotional or sexual abuse, neglect or drug or alcohol abuse, it’s in your best interest to get an attorney right away.