As a parent or grandparent, one of the most frightening situations you can face is having your children or grandchildren taken away from you. This may happen due to someone filing a report of child abuse or neglect. If there is reasonable cause or concern for a child’s welfare, The Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) may feel it is necessary to remove your child(ren) from your home. If it is determined that your child(ren) are not safe at home, they will be placed in foster care and your case will be moved to Juvenile Dependency Court. This may result in you losing custody of your child(ren) or even having your parental rights terminated.
During the dependency hearings, you have the right to:
- Hire an attorney or have one appointed
- Be notified of all hearings
- Be present at all hearings
- See reports (DCF or Guardian ad Litem) pertaining to the case
- Receive services to help regain custody (fees may apply)
- Be consulted about medical treatment or travel plans
- Visitation/contact with your child(ren) unless otherwise ordered by the Court
During the Dependency Court proceedings, you will also be financially responsible for your child(ren). The amount will be determined by the Court or Department of Revenue based on your ability to pay.
If you are dealing with DCF issues, it is important that you do not waste any time and are proactive in retaining your parental rights. The experienced dependency attorneys at Rachel Rall, Attorney at Law, P.A. can help you through this difficult time. Contact us at 904-683-6294 or submit an online request to schedule a consultation right away.