Family Law

CINA - Child In Need of Assistance

Protecting Children is Our Passion

Safeguarding the Future of Every Child

It is imperative that children grow up in a comfortable environment so that they can one day reach their full potential. Unfortunately, some children experience difficult situations and the Department of Social Services (DSS) has to step in.

These types of situations can be very emotional, having an experienced team of family lawyers can make all the difference. At Frost Law, our team not only understands how to handle the legal side of these situations, but also the emotional toll that comes with it.

A child in need of assistance situation can arise if the DSS can prove that:

  • the child has been abused or neglected or has a mental disorder or a developmental disability
  • the child’s parents, guardian, or custodian does not provide proper care or attention to the child’s needs.
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Feel Protected With Experienced Family Attorneys

When dealing with CINA matters, there are typically four stages which the case goes through:

  1. Shelter Care
  2. Adjudication - similar to a trial
  3. Disposition - similar to a sentencing
  4. Permanency planning

Children will be placed into shelter care if the court finds that they are in an emergency situation. Shelter care is meant to be a temporary measure that lasts only about 30 days. In extreme cases, children may be placed into shelter care prior to a hearing that has even begun.

The second stage is the adjudication hearing. If a child is placed in shelter care, adjudication hearings will take place within 30 days. If the child is not placed into shelter care, the adjudication hearing will take place within 60 days from the initial CINA petition. At an adjudication hearing, the court will determine if the facts of the CINA petition are true.

If the court finds the facts of the CINA petition to be true, then the case will move forward to a disposition (typically on the same day). During the disposition the court may:

  • Place the child in foster care
  • Return the child to a parent under specific conditions
  • Award custody and guardianship to a person who can provide proper care for the child

Children who are placed out of their home for at least one year are then eligible for a permanency planning hearing. The court will either return the child to their original parent or guardian, place them with a relative or non-relative, or place them in another planned permanent living arrangement.

If you're dealing with this situation reach out to our adept family law team for guidance. Call our team or fill out our brief form and start your journey today!


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