A dependency action is usually brought by the State to take legal care and control of minor children from their parents or guardians because of abuse or neglect.
You as a parent have what are called fundamental rights in a dependency, you have the fundamental right to parent your children.
Yes, because dependencies affect your fundamental rights you get an attorney appointed if you cannot afford one.
Your parents have the permissive right to intervene into the case if they so wish as a third party.
It depends, if you are not seen as a direct threat to the children then visitation, usually supervised will be set up for you.
As long as your parents are also not seen as a threat to the children they too, if they ask will be allowed visitation.
They have the right to intervene as a third party but it is not permissive, meaning they will have to show the court that they are doing so in the best interests of the child and will not cause the dependency to be bogged down because of their entry.
As soon as the Department of Child Safety believes you are no longer a safety threat and you have made the desired behavior changes then a transition plan will be implemented to return the children to your care.
In most cases DCS wants to monitor your interaction with the children and this can only be done as a result of supervised visitations.
Only doing some of the required services may lead you to have your rights severed, better to fully comply with all services.
Usually this means that you have not made the required behavioral changes needed that the department is looking for.
If your child is younger than three years of age then you have six months to be reunited with your children. If they are over the age of three then you have one year to reunite with your children.
Yes, if the foster parents are not for the case plan you can always motion that the children be removed from their care.
At the preliminary protective hearing the parties will have already met and made certain agreements, then they go in front of the judge and put those agreements before the court. The court can then change what is required or set a hearing on what the temporary custody will be of the children.
Yes, the children will have their own attorney as well who will argue what the children want.
The children's attorney must put forth to the court what the children desire. The children's guardian ad litem puts forth what he/she believes is in the children's best interest, even if the best interests of the children is in opposite of what the children desire.
Parents are usually asked to engage in services until they have completed that particular service or until the department sees a change in the parents behavior.
Initially most case plans are reunification with a parent, however, if the judge believes that this is not in the best interest of the child, as when a child adamantly does not want contact with their parent, then the caseplan can be changed to termination of parental rights.
The foster parents cannot make changes to the children's appearance if doing so would offend your religion or if you disagree with regard to say the children getting a certain type of hair cut.
The length of a dependency take as long as the court is required to allow the parents to engage in a case plan of reunification. Dependencies can be over several years in length or they can take less than one year to complete.