Juvenile Dependency Process
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
In most cases, a dependency case comes to court shortly after a child has been removed from their home by the police or a social worker. The police or social worker may remove a child from their home if they have a reason to believe that there is an imminent risk of harm to the child.
The best outcomes for foster children occur when everyone involved in the child's care and supervision works together using all of the legal tools available to them. Too often problems in a child's case are not identified and communicated effectively to the Juvenile Court or the responsible agencies. The main participants in the Juvenile Court process are the Juvenile Court, county child welfare agencies, parents, children, foster family agencies, caregivers, and attorneys.
The timelines that are a part of our dependency statutes recognize the importance of a child’s sense of time, the central role of the young child’s caregiver relationship that drives the child’s growth and development, and determines the ultimate structure of the child's brain. To this end, the legislature has enacted shorter timelines for children under three years old. For children under three at the time of removal, the statutory time limit on renunciation services for parent is six months from the date of disposition unless the parent has made substantial progress and the court finds the child may be returned to a safe home by the date of the 12 month review hearing or reasonable services have not been provided to the parents. For more information on this, please see the 6-Month Review Hearing section below.
Respecting the time lines and honoring the child’s caregiver relationship is critical to the health and safety of the developing child.
The following chart illustrates the dependency hearing proceedings:
Type of Form
When To File
Anyone can file a request to change an existing court order. File the JV-180 when:
- An immediate hearing is required; and
- Circumstances have changed or there is new evidence (evidence that you can attach to your form); and
- It is in the child’s best interests to modify a previous order.
The JV-180 Form is also appropriate when you seek visits, placement, or contact with a dependent sibling in foster care, or on behalf of a child who has a sibling in foster care.
Any individual or agency caring for a foster child may file this form in order to provide information about the foster child to the court at review hearings (eg. 6,12,18 or 24 month review hearings)
- The .26 Hearing date has been set
- The child has lived with you for at least six months
- You must currently express a commitment to adopt
- You must have taken at least ONE "step to facilitate the adoption process."
Legal Disclaimer: Advokids provides educational information and resources to those who use our website, call our hotline, or submit requests for information via the website. Any information provided may not be construed as the giving of legal advice to any person about a particular legal matter and should not be relied upon as the basis for taking a particular action or refraining from taking a particular action in any legal matter. If you want or need legal advice about a particular legal matter, you should consult a lawyer.
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