What To Expect When Children’s Services Knocks On Your Door

If any person calls in a complaint to a child protective service agency alleging that your children are being abused, neglected, or are dependent, chances are a child protective services agent is going to show up at your home asking questions.  That person is generally labeled a “caseworker” regardless of what agency they derive from.  These agents go by different titles throughout Ohio’s 88 counties, as they are different employees of agencies that are developed by county, but they are all ultimately employed by government entities.  When confronted by a government employee such as a caseworker, most people think that they have to comply with whatever the worker asks for—This is NOT true in this instance, just as it is not with the police.

Unless the caseworker has a court order, you do not have to answer any questions without your attorney present.  Furthermore, you certainly do not have to let them into your home or allow them access to your children.  In fact, you may lawfully ask the worker to leave immediately.

If, however, the caseworker lodges a complaint against you in juvenile court because of something they seen or heard in their investigation, then an adjudicatory hearing must be held within three days.  At this hearing, the child’s services agency must prove that the allegations in the complaint are true, and further, that they are abusive, neglectful, or dependent.  If the court finds that the allegations are true, then your children can be taken away.  The court will devise a “Case Plan” and place your children in the temporary custody of another party until such time that the case plan is satisfied.

A case plan is a plan in which the court sets out things that need to happen in order for you to regain custody of your children.  It may include various treatments and evaluations, parenting classes, gaining better housing or employment, among other things as the court determines necessary.  Then the court sets out a time frame within which the case plan must be achieved; generally one year.  If the plan is not fully achieved, your child(ren) could be permanently removed from your custody.

Custody of your child(ren) is the most quintessential aspect of being a parent.  If you do not have custody, you cannot be a positive influence on your child’s life in any capacity.  Finding yourself in the sites of a children’s service agency can be an extremely stressful situation to say the least.

Protect your children and yourself—hire an experienced Ohio domestic relations attorney.  Please contact the Ohio law firm of Slater & Zurz LLP at 1-800-297-9191  or send us a Blog Message to set up a meeting with the finest family attorneys in the Akron, Ohio area.

For more information about domestic relations topics, please visit dissolutionanddivorce.com. 

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About slaterzurz

Slater & Zurz LLP is an Ohio law firm of highly experienced and respected attorneys. Over the last 40 years, we have developed a reputation for getting positive results for clients. We've been trusted with handling over 20,000 personal injury cases and our clients have received more than $120,000,000.

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