Department of Child Services Investigation and Defense
What can I expect during an investigation by DCS?
An investigation by Children’s Services can be an overwhelming experience. They quickly become emotional. Often, investigations seek to understand any underlying issues or conditions that might jeopardize a child’s health or safety. During low to moderate risk cases Children’s services works to identify families in distress. This may include the need for mental health therapy, classes for parents or other goals. However, not every family gets to keep their children. In more extreme cases law-enforcement works closely with children’s services. As a family attorney, I understand how quickly investigations can become emotionally charged. Allow me to guide your family through the difficult process of an investigation with empathy and your goals in mind.
Can children live with a family member?
As part of your child’s permanency plan, it may be decided that the children involved may live with a family member. However if the parent or parents can prove “reasonable efforts” your child may be returned to you. Reasonable efforts may include assisting you in obtaining counseling or parenting classes. In some cases this may even include transportation if necessary.
In other cases, if a child cannot safely stay in their own home, or a relative opts not to adopt them, the child is remanded into state custody. The state often strives to keep siblings together and close to their home communities. During placement arrangements, some children may temporarily be placed in Foster care. Foster care aims to address any problems that the child may have experienced.
Children’s services often recruits families to provide safe and supportive homes in which the child’s needs can be holistically met. These needs often include medical or emotional and social support. In other cases where children are in extreme distress the court may opt to place the child in a youth-development center. These cases typically include children who are considered delinquent or have broken the law.
What does it take to become a legal guardian?
To become a legal guardian you must prove that you are able to provide for all of the child’s needs including special assistance, access to medical care, education and more. Often, case workers attempt to find guardians who have a close relationship with the children and are able to provide for the children’s needs in a way that is satisfactory. This is in order to speed up the process.
What happens if no legal guardian is available?
A revocable attorney’s power, or POA, is a legal document appointing an agent or in-fact attorney to handle transactions on your behalf. Any trustworthy person or institution you choose can be your handler. Most states require written POA documents and specify certain requirements for the creation and revoking of POAs.