Fremont Family Law attorney explains the juvenile dependency court process.
Juvenile dependency is the process by which a child is removed from his or her parent’s custody and care, and is declared a “dependent of the court”. These cases often involve children who have been abandoned, neglected or injured by their parents, foster parents or legal guardians. Juvenile dependency cases may also be brought when parents or caretakers are unable to meet the needs of a special needs child.
A juvenile dependency case typically begins with someone filing a report with a law enforcement or child protective services agency, which will investigate to determine if abuse or neglect is occurring. If the agency determines that abuse or neglect is happening, the child can be removed to the care of a foster home. It is at this time that the agency can petition the court for “dependent of the court” status for the child.