Navigating A Child In Need Of Assistance Case
When the state accuses parents of abuse or neglect, they often remove the children from the home while they investigate the situation. The law refers to these as children in need of assistance (CINA) cases. At Tracy Miller Law, LLC, I represent both children and parents in these situations. These cases are emotionally difficult and require both compassion and experience. I take each case seriously and understand exactly what is at stake.
The CINA Process
When the Department of Social Services suspects a Maryland child of suffering from neglect or abuse, they will begin an investigation. This will include several actions, which may include:
- Verifying whether grounds exist to believe abuse is happening
- Holding a shelter care hearing regarding the removal of the child from his or her home
- Placing the child with relatives or in a foster home
- Holding an adjudicatory hearing on the welfare of the child
- Deciding on the disposition or outcome of the case
- Planning for a permanent placement for the child, if necessary
Both the child and the parents have the right to their own legal representation during this process. The court will always look at what is in the best interest of the child. Outcomes may range from returning home to the child’s parent(s), to returning home with certain conditions, to a placement outside the home for at least one year. In extreme situations, the court may terminate the parental rights of one or both parents.
Facing Accusations Of Abuse Or Neglect
Parents who come to me for help to defend the accusations against them are often anxious to reconnect with their children. I work with them to help them understand what is happening at every step of the process and fight to protect their legal rights along the way. If you are facing this situation, having a trusted attorney by your side is crucial to a positive outcome. This is not a moment to leave things to chance, and you do not have to face it alone.
How Can I Help?
Whether you are looking for someone to represent a child or a parent, I understand the CINA system and am ready to help. To find out more, call my Columbia office at 410-941-4760 or fill out my online contact form.