CYS (or CYF) – Part 3

This article is part 3 in a series about CYS (or CYF). After the shelter hearing, CYS is supposed to implement a plan for reunifying the child with his or her parents. This plan will usually require the parents to do particular things to improve their home situation. For example, the parents may be required to complete a parenting class or domestic violence counseling. If the parents are abusing drugs, they may be required to do random drug screens and take a drug rehabilitation course.

The court typically has a review hearing every three months, to examine the progress of the parents. At this hearing, the CYS caseworker testifies about progress. If the parents comply, the court may order the child back into their custody. If the parents fail to comply and enough time passes (for example, one year), CYS will then recommend that the court terminate the parental rights. Some parents agree to terminate their rights voluntarily, while other parents refuse. The court may then terminate those rights involuntarily, and the child can be adopted by other parties.

If you believe CYS has made it very difficult for you to comply and need representation at the hearing terminating your parental rights, feel free to contact our firm for aggressive legal representation at this hearing.

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Written by Attorney Andrew Glasgow
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CYS (or CYF) – Part 2

This article is part 2 of a series about CYS (or CYF). At the shelter hearing, CYS will usually argue that the child is not safe in his or her parent’s home. If the judge agrees, the child will frequently be placed either with relatives or in foster care. The priority is supposed to be to place the child with relatives first. But I have been surprised by the number of occasions where the court did not place the child with relatives. This placement with foster care probably happens more than it should, because the parents fail to hire an attorney for the shelter hearing. Consequently, the judge does not become aware that the homes of relatives are available and suitable.

It is better for the child to be placed with relatives, for several reasons. First, the child resides with someone familiar–family! Second, if more than one child is involved, the children will more likely be kept together (rather than being split up with different foster parents). Third, if the parent’s rights as parents are eventually terminated, the relatives are in a good position to adopt (rather than foster parents adopting them).

The shelter hearing is an important proceeding and should not be taken lightly. Do not rely on a court-appointed attorney, as such attorneys usually have a large caseload and will not give your case much attention. Increase your odds of getting your children back or having them placed with relatives, by hiring our firm to represent you at the shelter hearing.

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Written by Attorney Andrew Glasgow
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CYS (or CYF) – Part 1

The function of CYS (sometimes called CYF) is to protect children. CYS frequently gets involved with a family, once someone has filed a report against that family. The informant remains confidential, but the family is entitled to see the report. If the risk to the child in that family appears small, CYS might only recommend services for the family and monitor the situation. If the risk appears large, CYS commonly acquires an emergency order from Juvenile Division and removes the child from his or her home.

Typically a shelter hearing then occurs within 72 hours thereafter. The family is entitled to be heard at this hearing, and has the opportunity to persuade the judge to return the child. Frequently, parents do not bring an attorney to this shelter hearing, believing they can persuade the judge themselves; frequently, these parents are surprised and do not succeed. The procedure and law here can be confusing. Our firm can help you present a strong case at this shelter hearing, with the goal of getting your child back.

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Written by Attorney Andrew Glasgow
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