Guidance and Protection for Parents and Grandparents in Child in Need of Care Cases
If the Department of Children and Families in Kansas (DCF) or the Division of Family Services in Missouri (DFS) are involved through investigating an allegation or abuse, neglect, or truancy from school, it is likely time to involve legal counsel. They have the ability to remove your children from your home, sometimes permanently. This legal process is called a child in need of care (CINC) case. Having legal counsel in place ensures that parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles and other extended family members have legal advocacy in going through this difficult and stressful process. Our firms goal is to work with you, and the state agency, as needed, to ensure that the child can stay with their family. Often, this takes a significant amount of work and legal advocacy.
What Happens in a CINC Case?
Each CINC case is very unique. While the state agency generally uses the same procedure or steps, many of the circumstances of each case will vary based on the needs of the family, the child, and the individual case workers involved.
The typical steps can involve the following (often, with lots of unique/alternative courses of action);
- Family Services obtains the court’s permission and removes the child from the home temporarily;
- The court schedule a hearing to implement a safety plan for the child and to make a determination as to whether the child needs to remain outside of the family home;
- After the hearing, if the court determines that the child cannot return home, the juvenile office will file a petition to declare the child as a Child in Need of Care;
- If the court upholds/grants the petition, the court will decide and determine long-term care and placement for the child such as a foster care home or being placed with a relative;
- The Court will then make determinations for safety measures that the family/biological parents must follow to regain custody of the child. Often, if the family meets these conditions to the court’s satisfaction, the child will be returned to the parents. If it takes too long to meet the conditions or the parents are not actually satisfactorily meeting the conditions, it could result in the court determining that the parents’ rights are terminated. The ultimate goal of a Child in Need of Care (CINC) case is to obtain permanency (i.e. a stable, long-term home for the child to grow-up in. Of course, the natural parents are prioritized for this placement, but if they are unable to meet and maintain the expectations of the court then alternative permanent placements are sought out.
Our office has had the privilege of helping many families work through the CINC process, helping to reunify families or remove children from dangerous living environments to ensure that they have a safe, happy and healthy family to grow-up in (whenever possible as a relative placement such as grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins or grown siblings).
Time is critical in a child in need of care case. Parents and grandparents require representation to protect their important ties to their children and grandchildren. The sooner you act and take steps to cooperate and address the issues that the state is raising, the better the opportunity you have to secure a positive outcome. Call Pingel Family Law today at (816) 208-8130 to schedule your consultation.
"I have known Attorney Pingel for more than fifteen (15) years. Mandee is a lawyer I consider a respected colleague. She has a reputation for being intelligent, knowledgeable about the law, well-prepared and kind."- A Lawyer in Liberty, Missouri