In most cases you will be able to have visits with
your child if the child is not returned to you.
4. What happens then?
You have a right to have a trial where the judge will
decide whether the statements in the petition are true.
If there is to be a trial, a date will be set for that
Whether your child is with you or not, if you admit that
all or part of the statements in the petition are true, or
allow the judge to make a decision based on the reports
presented, there will not be a trial on those issues.
The social worker will prepare a report for the court, based
on an investigation that will include talking to you and to
others. The report will include recommendations about
where your child should be living for the next six months
(when the next court hearing will be held) and what you
and others can do to help solve the problems that brought
you and your child into court.
There will be a case plan that will be worked out by you
and the social worker; this plan will be presented to the
court. The court will probably order that all or part of the
case plan be carried out. The case plan may include
such things as the following:
If your child is removed from your custody and
there is a case plan ordered, the social worker
will be required to include in the case plan: (1)
services to help you reunify with your child and
(2) services to achieve legal permanence for
your child should reunification fail. Legal
permanence may include adoption or
appointment of a legal guardian.
5. What do I need to do then?
The social worker and others will be required to
assist you to obtain the services listed in your case
The court will review your case
at least every six months. At the
first review hearing, the court
will consider whether court
dependency for your child is still
required and, if your child has
been removed from your home,
whether your child may be
Treatment for abuse of
alcohol and other drugs
Special programs and classes
Visitation with your child
It is important that you get started on your case
plan as soon as possible. Following the case
plan, within the required time lines, is the key to
reunification with your child.
If, at any time after your child is removed from you, you
decide that you are not interested in reunifying with your
child, you can talk with your social worker. You should
also talk with your lawyer, who can explain your right to
(1) waive reunification services, (2) relinquish your
parental rights, and (3) assist in the development of a
permanent plan for your child.
If the judge decides that the statements in the petition are
true, the judge will probably make your child a dependent
child of the court, which means that your control over your
child will be limited and the child may be removed from