Every Family Needs an Advocate
Whenever childhood abuse or neglect is suspected, California’s Child Protective Services (CPS) (a.k.a. Department of Child and Family Services) may become involved with the family. Child Protective Services are available to children who are victims of, or at risk of, abuse, neglect, exploitation, or parental absence. The goal of Child Protective Services is to keep a child in his/her own home when it is safe. If the child is deemed to be at risk, however, CPS will use the courts to develop an alternative living plan, as quickly as possible.
In a CPS case, also known as Dependency, the initial court hearing takes place within 72 hours of the child’s removal from the home. This is considered an “emergency” hearing, and time is of the essence from the court’s perspective. At this hearing, typically the Judge will rule on the side of caution and have foster placement arranged for the child, which allows more time for Child Protective Services to investigate the situation. Unrepresented parents and children are no match for the government lawyers and trained child welfare workers.
It’s important to seek smart, experienced legal representation before the initial CPS hearing
Attorney Kelly Reiter can provide the legal representation you need for your CPS hearing to help prevent unnecessary foster care placement and additional trauma to your family. Kelly Reiter is a Certified Child Welfare Law Specialist, and she is dedicated to the protection and advocacy of children and families. She has represented over 500 children in legal proceedings and can expertly guide you through the complicated and highly emotional CPS process.
According to CPS, California law defines child abuse as any of the following:
- A child is physically injured by other than accidental means
- A child is subjected to willful cruelty or unjustifiable punishment
- A child is abused or exploited sexually
- A child is neglected by a parent or caretaker who fails to provide adequate food, clothing, shelter, medical care or supervision