SOCIAL SERVICES INVESTIGATIONS
An investigation by a Social Services Agency usually begins with a call to Child Protective Services and can involve law enforcement coordination, depending on the nature of the call. These contacts can be handled by a simple investigation, through an informal process of involvement with a social worker, or can result in a filing with the Dependency Court for child abuse or neglect via County Counsel. When the latter events occur: the child is entitled to an attorney, both parents are entitled to an attorney, and the County has an attorney. These are called Dependency cases, and this is a complex and highly specialized area of law.
As the supervising attorney for the Dependency Unit (representing parents) from 2016-2019, our Offices represented hundreds of parents facing allegations of parental neglect and/or abuse. The system is meant to correct the problems associated with the familial unit involved, and to finalize the parenting supervision of SSA. This does not always happen, and parents can lose their parental rights if the court finds the dangers persist and cannot be rectified.
Although you cannot choose an attorney for your child, you can hire counsel to protect your interests as you navigate your way through the Dependency system as a parent.