Scottsdale Family Law Attorney: When the Department of Child Safety Comes
The Department of Child Safety have taken my children, what do I do?
When the Department of Child Safety (DCS) receives a call or tip that child abuse (physical, mental, sexual, emotional) or neglect is taking place in a home, they are required to send an investigator to the home. If evidence of child abuse or neglect is apparent, the DCS investigator may serve the parent with a temporary custody notice and remove the child.
If this happens, you should immediately contact a Scottsdale family law attorney. The DCS’s first step is generally a Team Decision Meeting, held within 72 hours of the children being removed from the home, in which the DCS and the parents meet to discuss the next steps. You will need your attorney to be present at this meeting. You will have to discuss the safety concerns and whether your children can stay in the home.
If after the Team Decision Meeting and the 72 hours are over, if the DCS does not return the children to parental custody they will request the Attorney General to file a dependency petition. Your case will move to Dependency Court, but there are several preliminary steps before the case goes before the court.
Your next step will be a pre hearing conference and a preliminary protective hearing. These should happen between 5-7 days after your children were removed from your home. The pre hearing conference is for you, applicable relatives, and your attorney. The preliminary protective hearing will follow and is the place to discuss your proposals for resolving the safety concerns raised by the DCS. You may also dispute the actions of the DCS and request a separate hearing to determine whether the safety concerns were valid.
After the preliminary protective hearing, the solutions, plans, or resolutions you have come to with the DCS will be brought before a judge and entered into the record.