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The Role of a Parent’s Attorney in a CPS Case

Under the California Welfare and Institutions Code, section 300, juvenile dependency proceedings are initiated when Child Protective Services believes a child is at risk of abuse or neglect.

Juvenile dependency cases in California are complex legal matters that involve the welfare of children and the rights of parents. In such cases, parents require legal representation to protect their rights and navigate the legal system. 

This article explores the critical role of a parent’s attorney in a CPS case and how a firm like CPS Law Group can help you in such cases. 

California Welfare and Institutions Code, section 300, outlines the circumstances in which a child can be removed from their home due to abuse or neglect. It provides the legal foundation for CPS to intervene and initiate dependency proceedings. These cases are typically filed in juvenile court. 

In a CPS case, parents have the right to legal representation. A parent’s attorney plays a role in advocating their rights and protecting them through the legal process. A parent’s attorney focuses on the reunification of the family. 

In such cases, parents have the right to visit with their children and attend all the hearings, even if the children are taken away from the home. The parent’s attorney works with the parents to make sure they receive services from CPS and regular and frequent contact with their child. 

Role of a Parent’s Attorney

  1. Legal Advocacy. A parent’s attorney is responsible for zealously representing their client’s interests. This includes challenging evidence, cross-examining witnesses, and presenting legal arguments favoring reunification with their child. Attorneys who represent parents should be well-versed in this area of the law and the recent legal authorities.
  2. Legal analysis. Attorneys must analyze the evidence and assess whether the allegations meet the statutory criteria of section 300 and the related sections. This involves a thorough understanding of the law and thoroughly examining the case. Attorneys may request the CPS case file through the discovery process and also provide evidence to the parties. Attorneys need to be able to evaluate how the law applies to the facts of the case.
  3. Negotiation and settlement. Parent’s attorneys often negotiate with the attorney for CPS and the children to develop a case plan for reunification with the child, meeting the specified requirements.
  4. Counseling Parents. One of the most important roles is that of the attorney as counselor. Often times, parents find themselves confused and overwhelmed by the proceedings involving their children. They may not understand the purpose of the court or its goals, and therefore make decisions and actions that hurt their case. It is the role of the attorney to advise the client as to the proceedings and assist them in navigating the processes. While attorneys cannot speak for parents in their contact with CPS, or their providers of services, they can advise and counsel parents how to interact and approach these relationships

In California, the role of a parent’s attorney in a CPS case is indispensable. They act as legal advocates, analyzing the evidence, negotiating with CPS, and fighting for the client to protect their parental rights. Under the California Welfare and Institutions Code, section 300, the attorney looks for the child’s best interest and seeks to protect parental rights. The rights of both the parent and child must be balanced in the CPS case. In a real-life scenario, the attorneys at CPs Law Group provide advocacy to drive the outcome of the CPS case. The legal representation provided by these professionals helps parents understand their case, visit their child regularly, protect their rights, balance their interests with the best interests of their child, and navigate the complexities of the juvenile dependency case, increasing the chance of family reunification. Lastly, an attorney helps the parents legally attain the right to provide care, custody, companionship, and management of their child.

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