Care & Protection

Know your rights before you go to court

Care and Protection Proceeding

Care and Protection proceedings may be initiated in two different situations. One is on an emergency removal (M.G.L. c 119, Section 51B) which occurs when a investigator is assigned under an emergency screened in 51A child abuse report. During this investigation it is determine that  after viewing the child(ren) reasonable cause to believe exist that a condition of serious abuse or neglect including abandonment exits, and that as a result of the conditions, removal of the child is necessary in order to avoid the risk of death or serious physical injury to the child.

The Department of Children and Families will also seek a care an protection order to obtain custody of your child(ren) if they believe the parent has failed to complete all assigned task in a service plan in a reasonable time period.  Many parents who do not understands the consequences of signing a service plan in which task that are assigned are unattainable.

Care and protection proceedings are conducted in Juvenile Court which is a closed to the public.

Each parent and child will be assigned legal representation if they can not afford such.

Parents, children along with the Department of Children and Families are allowed to present evidence to the Juvenile Court Judge.

Under federal Family safe act if your child(ren) has been placed in foster care in the custody of the State for 15 of the immediately preceding 22 months the State may begin termination of Parental rights ands place your child up for adoptioin. This is done by changing the servcie paln goal form reunification to adoption.

Many times during these proceeding prior to seeing the Juvenile Court Judge the Department of Family Service will offer to meet and agree on a compromise.

Be careful not to make agreements that cannot be kept based on undisclosed issue that you can not control.

Never sign over your legal custody of your children under the belief that the Department of Children and Families will still allow you physical custody.  By signing over legal custody at any time the Department of Children and Families  can come and remove your child and place them in foster care. The only way to get back physical custody of your children will be to go back to juvinile court.

The two major reason why the Department of Children and Families has so much control in juvinel courts is due to the decision of the Supreme Judicial Court in Care and Protection of Jeremy which removed from Massachusetts judges the right to make decisions in the best interests of children in foster care.  Aslo the ruling in the  Care and Protection of Sharlene where even the power of life and death, is in the hands of DCF, who currently received zero over sight.

Children First Advocacy and or their employees or sub contractors do not provide legal advice in any situation. Children First Advocacy provides services associated with procedural actions concerning allegations child abuse or neglect and educational issues facing children and families in Massachusetts.