These are cases where the Department of Children and Family Services (the "Department") is involved in investigating an allegation of child abuse or neglect, or where the case has moved to the point where a "dependency petition" or "petition to terminate parental rights" has already been filed.
As in any legal action, it's important to be mindful of your legal rights in a dependency case, and of the legal requirements necessary to authorize any actions or decisions by the Department, and to protect your rights. If it's a situation where things have taken place which put a child at risk, it's often important to acknowledge that the Department has the job in Florida of seeking to protect children, and to move forward yourself with the Department, through your attorney if you are represented, to put into place a case plan which protects the children and makes continued action by the Department over the long-term not necessary. The legal rules in Florida for dependency cases expect everyone involved to work towards protecting the child, and to avoid placing a child in foster care if there are other appropriate options available.
I have experience litigating Dependency cases as an attorney in private practice representing parents, as an attorney for the Department of Children and Family services, and also as a witness in dependency cases during my work as a children and family therapist in Florida.
Call me at (954) 636-4798, or use the contact form, and we can discuss your Dependency case.
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