If you are facing accusations of child neglect, you are not alone. These are serious charges that can result in losing custody of a child.
Child neglect is defined in law at section 1012 of the Family Court Act in the state of New York. Maltreatment is defined in Section 412 of the Social Services Law.
Child neglect charges state that a guardian or parent of a minor has caused harm to a child, failed to care for the child by neglecting education or medical care or otherwise neglected to perform a minimum amount of care for a child. A child may also be considered neglected if alcohol or drug abuse prevent adequate supervision of the minor.
If child neglect charges are brought and danger to the child is presumed evident, he/she can be removed from the home. In New York State, every alleged case of child neglect will be investigated by the Department of Social Services and the child can be removed before a petition is filed and without a court order.
A hearing will be held on the next day that court is in session after a petition is filed. There it will be determined whether the child should be placed in a home designated by the court, placed with a suitable party other than the guardian, or released to the parent until a final order is handed down. A parent can request that the child be remanded into his/her care until the case is settled.
If the child is in need of medical treatment, the court may authorize it at this time.
A parent or guardian may not necessarily be present at this hearing, as it is considered an emergency proceeding.
Another hearing will be held to determine the facts as to whether the child has been neglected. The child protective agency will present its case and the parent or guardian will have opportunity to provide evidence in defense. If the judge decides that the allegations are unfounded, the case will be dismissed. If the evidence for neglect is proven to be true, a dispositional hearing will be held as to where the child will then reside. The court may also issue an order for mandatory drug, alcohol or mental health therapy for the parent or guardian, as well as an order of protection for the child.
A finding of neglect may cause the court to place a child into foster care for up to one year. If a parent then does not participate by maintaining contact and preparing for the future of the child, parental rights can be terminated.
Child Protection Services are designed to protect the physical, mental and emotional wellbeing of children. If a child is deemed neglected, it is the duty of the State to act protectively on behalf of the child.
Many times accusations of child neglect are proven in court to be unfounded.
It is important that you contact a defense lawyer skilled in defending the rights of parents facing charges of child neglect.
Please call today for your risk-free consultation with an attorney specializing in your needs.