Passionate and Understanding Indianapolis Family Law Attorney Assisting Families with Children in Need of Services
Your children are a top priority for you, and you care deeply for them. Oftentimes, however, local Indiana police and Child Protective Services do not understand your bond with your children and may jump to conclusions or conduct an investigation based on a false report. If CPS believes that your child has been abused or neglected, it may initiate a CHINS proceeding against you in an attempt to take your children away from you. If you have been wrongly accused of mistreating your children, it is absolutely imperative that you consult with an experienced Indianapolis family law attorney immediately to defend yourself against the allegations, save your children, and protect your family.
Eskew Law, LLC understands how trying the CHINS process can be for both you and your children. We have worked with countless Indiana clients on affirming their parental rights, and we can assist you with CHINS proceedings and advocating for your family. To schedule an initial consultation, call our Indianapolis family law attorneys now at (317) 974-0177.
What Is CHINS?
A child in need of services is commonly referred to as CHINS (the proceeding of which is governed by Indiana Code 31-34-1-1 et seq.). CHINS refers to minors who:
- Are younger than 18
- Allegedly have been abused or neglected by their parents or guardians
- Allegedly are not receiving vital treatment or assistance
CHINS can arise when:
- The parents caused injury or failed to act, causing an injury
- The parents are addicted to drugs or are dealing or manufacturing drugs at home
- The child ran away
- The child is sexually assaulted
- The child acts out in school or elsewhere, and the parents make no attempt to rectify the situation
- The child harms himself or others
CHINS is for children who (1) need services, (2) are not receiving any care from the family, and (3) will not receive any assistance unless the court intervenes.
What Happens During a CHINS Hearing?
The court designates when a child is a CHINS. The Department of Child Services (DCS) will first initiate CHINS proceedings against you in order to take the child from your custody. If, after evidence is presented and the court agrees that the child qualifies as a CHINS, the court will then arrange for care of the child.
Remember that while CHINS proceedings are stressful and emotional, they are not criminal in nature. You will not be criminally penalized.
When CPS suspects abuse or neglect, it assigns a caseworker to conduct an investigation. If CPS finds mistreatment has occurred or that the child is otherwise in need of services, CPS will then begin the CHINS process. In some instances, CPS may immediately take the child out of the home if the living situation is a serious threat to the child’s mental or physical wellbeing. Otherwise, the family will be able to contest the allegations in court before the child can be removed.
At the first CHINS hearing, you must plead to the allegations. At the next hearing, the DCS will present evidence. If and only if the court finds abuse or neglect occurred, then the court will issue orders regarding (1) whether the child will be removed, and if so, where to and (2) what services must be provided to the child. Thereafter, the court will revisit the case at least every six months to determine if changes need to be made to the plan.
Fight CHINS Allegations with a Team of Compassionate Indianapolis Family Law Attorneys
If you are worried you may lose your children in a CHINS proceeding, Eskew Law, LLC can help you fight accusations of abuse or neglect and formulate an action plan for caring for your children. We take this privilege and responsibility seriously for all of our clients throughout Indianapolis and Central Indiana. To schedule a consultation, call Eskew Law, LLC at (317) 974-0177 now.