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CPS, DHHS & Juvenile Court

When CPS, DHHS or the Juvenile Court system becomes involved in your or your family’s life, it can feel confusing, invasive and scary. What may begin as a casual encounter with informal questioning by an agent of the State may trigger extensive investigation, the filing of a petition in juvenile court, and numerous other consequences. It is important to consult with an attorney experienced in the area of juvenile law, like those at Dornan, Troia, Howard, Breitkreutz & Conway, PC LLO, to discuss your situation.

There are two primary types of juvenile cases. The first involves allegations of abuse, neglect or failure to meet a child’s needs. This often begins when an initial assessment worker investigates an allegation that was made through the CPS hotline. It is possible that the investigation leads to non-court involved voluntary services. Or, the investigation may result in the submission of a sworn statement being sent to the County Attorney’s Office, which leads to the filing of a petition in juvenile court. Either scenario could trigger significant consequences, including but not limited to having one’s name placed on the DHHS Central Abuse Registry, court-ordered services such as drug and alcohol testing, substance abuse and mental health evaluations or treatment, supervised contact with one’s child, random drop-ins into one’s home by caseworkers, or even the termination of one’s parental rights. Because of these serious ramifications, you should contact one of our attorneys immediately if you are or think you will be investigated for issues of child abuse or neglect.

The second type of juvenile case involves delinquent behavior by a minor child, such as being either habitually absent from school or engaging in conduct that, if charged as an adult, would constitute a crime. This can also cause a juvenile petition to be filed, and possible consequences include but are not limited to temporary detention at a youth center, probation, out-of-home placement in a secure facility, or commitment to a youth rehabilitation center. Again, it is important to contact one of our attorneys if your child is facing involvement in a juvenile court proceeding.

Call 402-884-7044 or Email Today.