♦ Please be on time and polite.
♦ Please respect the Judge, court staff, attorneys, and all people present in the courtroom.
♦ Please turn off your cell phones or pagers before entering the courtroom.
♦ When you address the Court, please stand up, and speak slowly and clearly.
♦ Please use "Your Honor" when you speak to the Judge.
♦ Please answer yes or no questions by saying "yes" or "no" out-loud. Please do NOT groan or mumble when you answer.
♦ Please do NOT wear shorts, halter tops, tube tops, spaghetti straps, caps/hats, very short skirts, or clothes with holes or stains or inappropriate message or pictures. Please tuck your shirt in.
♦ Please do NOT bring food or drink to the courtroom.
♦ Please do NOT chew gum in the courtroom.
♦ Court proceedings in a Child in Need of Care (CINC) case begins with a CINC petition filed with a District Court (Juvenile Division) in Kansas. A CINC petition is a legal document that gives reasons why your child is in need of court supervision when there is no parent able or willing to care for the child.
♦ A CINC petition is normally filed by a District or County Attorney’s Office. The District or County Attorney’s role in the CINC process is to present information to the Court about the issues and legal grounds that they believe will interfere with your ability to safely parent your child for the time being.
♦ In a CINC case, it is the Court’s responsibility to balance your rights and the rights of your child to be healthy and safe.
♦ Families usually become involved in the CINC system because of abuse, neglect, abandonment, ungovernable (out of control) behaviors, runaway behavior, truancy (not attending school), or if parents are unable or unwilling to provide care for their children.
♦ A parental disability (mental, physical, etc.) is not a reason for removing a child from your home. The Court will however take into consideration all factors that might cause harm to the child. The Court will consider accommodations for any parental disability. It is your responsibility to inform your attorney and the agency you are working with of your disability.
♦ You may have the right to have an interpreter present during court hearings so you can participate in hearings. However, you still have a responsibility to attend hearings and follow the Court’s rules and orders.
♦ All CINC cases are confidential, which means any and all information about you and your family’s case is private and cannot be shared with anyone else not authorized by the Kansas law. You will be asked to sign Release of Information Forms so people working with you and your family can share information with one another to better help service your family. These laws are in place to protect your family’s privacy.
♦ Your child will automatically be appointed an attorney to represent his/her best interest. They are called the Guardian ad Litem (GAL).
♦ You can hire your own attorney or request a Court Appointed attorney. If the Court appoints you an attorney, it is your responsibility to stay in touch with your attorney.
♦ The attorney’s job is to give you legal advice. He/She is your best source of information about court proceedings in your case.
♦ The difference between your attorney and the GAL is that your attorney represents what you want and the GAL represents what he/she thinks is in the best interest of the child.
♦ Parents are still financially responsible to support their children when they are placed out of the home. Therefore, you will be court ordered to pay child support for your child. The amount is based upon the Kansas Child Support Guidelines and your ability to pay.
♦ Temporary Custody Hearing
The first hearing held within 3 working days of the Order of Protective Custody or police protective custody. The judge determines if there is probable cause to believe a child’s health or welfare may be in danger without further or immediate action of the Court, or if the child is a runaway risk or is dangerous to self or others. If so, the Judge places the child in the Temporary Custody of DCF (Kansas Department for Children and Families), a relative, or other appropriate person.
♦ Adjudication Hearing
Usually held within 60 days of the Temporary Custody Hearing. The judge must determine if there is enough information in the CINC petition to show that the child is a child in need of care as defined by law, by clear and convincing evidence. If so, the child is adjudicated as a Child in Need of Care.
♦ Disposition Hearing
Must be held within 30 days of the Adjudication Hearing unless good cause is shown. Sometimes held the same day as the Adjudication Hearing. The judge must determine by the evidence, who will have custody of the child, where the child will b e placed, and services needed for the family. The judge also decides if the child will remain in the custody of DCF, a parent, or other appropriate caregiver.
♦ Permanency Hearing
Must be held within 12 months of the date the Court authorized the child’s removal from the home and less frequently than every 12 months thereafter. The judge reviews report and other evidence provided to determine if enough progress is being made and if reintegration of the child with the parent should remain the goal or if another permanency goal should be considered for the child.
♦ Review / Motion Hearing
Held by a request or motion from any involved party in the CINC case or by the Court’s own motion. The judge reviews the status of the case and progress in 30 days, 60 days, or 90 days of a certain hearing when necessary. A motion hearing is held to hear about legal issue(s) brought up before the Court by a party.
♦ Evidentiary Hearing / Trial
Most often scheduled upon a parent’s request if a parent disagrees to information provided to the judge in one of the above hearings. This hearing allows for parties to have witnesses testify and/or provide other evidence.
♦ Parental Rights Termination (PRT) Hearing
Can be held any time during a case, when/if determined parents have not made enough progress to care for their child. Based upon evidence, the judge must determine if a parent is unfit to properly care for their child and is likely to remain unfit for the foreseeable future. If the judge decides not enough progress has been made or if a parent is unwilling to make changes, the judge can terminate the rights of a parent. If this happens, the parent is no longer considered a legal parent of the child.
♦ Appeal Hearing
Parents have the right to appeal certain decisions the judge makes. A parent will need the help from his/her attorney to file an appeal.
♦ Secure Care Hearing (called Temporary Custody Hearing as well)
Can be held any time during a case after a child has been given written and verbal warning by the Court not to run from any placement or the home and the child runs again. The judge determines if a locked placement is in the best interest of the child for a period of 60 days. The judge can extend the initial term of secure care facility for 2 additional terms up to a total of 180 days, if necessary.
♦ Adoption Hearing
Held if both parents rights have been terminated and/or voluntarily relinquished. The judge orders that adoptive parents are now the legal parents of the child. As a result, these parents become legal parents of the child and have the responsibility to care for the child.
♦ Emergency Foster Care
Emergency foster home or resource home for children removed from the home up to 30 days.
♦ Family Resource Care
Family setting where foster parents or resource parents are trained to care for youth.
♦ Specialized Family Resource Home
Family setting where foster parents or resource parents are trained for youth who have special medical or behavioral needs.
♦ Therapeutic Family Resource Home
Family setting where foster parents or resource parents are trained to care for youth with severe mental health issues.
♦ Relative / Kinship Care
Placement can be with at least one (1) adult in the home who is related to the child, (but not the parent of the child) or an adult(s) whom the family or child identifies as having a (strong) kinship bond with. A foster care or resource home license is only required for youth ages 15 and younger who are placed in non-related kinship care.
♦ Emergency Shelter / Temporary Care
Community based short-term placement for a child awaiting another placement from 1~90 days.
♦ Youth Residential Center (YRC 1 or YRC 2)
There are 2 levels of 24 hour group home or non-secure residential care for youth who require increased structure but do not require inpatient treatment for mental illness, health, or substance abuse treatment.
♦ Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facility (PRTF)
A facility that provides comprehensive inpatient mental health treatment and/or substance abuse services for youth with severe emotional disturbances, substance abuse, or mental illness.
♦ Secure Care
Locked facility for runaway youth for a maximum of 180 days for youth who have run and been court ordered to the placement. Youth receive clinical, behavioral, and psychiatric treatment in this facility to help keep them safe and prevent them from running.
♦ Respite Care
Used for foster parents or parents when they are not able to care for children for a short amount of time due to illness, death of a family member, or other such reason. Respite Care can be with another foster family, relative, or other approved person.
♦ OPPLA (Other Permanent Planned Living Arrangements)
For youth over age 16, kinship placements with a relative, neighbor, family friend, minister/pastor, teacher, or other with whom the youth has a close emotional bond.
♦ Independent Living
One of the various options open to youth ages 16 and older to live in a self-sufficient community based home like setting and have access to staff for support to learn and maintain needed skills to live on their own.
Treatment in a hospital setting for serious medical, mental health, or drug and/or alcohol treatment as deemed appropriate by a doctor, or mental health professional.
The child returns to one or both parent’s home.
♦ Legal Guardianship
Placement and legal guardianship of the child is provided to the guardian through Probate Court for the guardian to act for the child’s best interest with certain rights and responsibilities granted by the Court subject to period monitor of the Court.
♦ Permanent Custodianship
If a parent is found unfit or wants/agrees to have another person raise their child, the Court can give Permanent Custodianship of a child to an identified person or relative who becomes legally responsible to care and provide for the child permanently and/or until age 18.
As a result of Termination of Parental Rights and/or if a parent relinquishes their parental rights, the child is legally adopted by a relative or other identified person(s).
♦ OPPLA (Other Permanent Planned Living Arrangements)
For youth ages 16 and older, independent living in a community based setting to learn skills and information required to help youth be self supporting upon age 18 is the most common goal. However, other arrangements such as living with a neighbor, ex-step parent, family friend, or other person with whom the youth has a close emotional bond can be sought as well.
♦ Permanency Plans can be changed based upon progress or lack of progress made by parents and/or their child. If the Permanency Plan is changed, the Plan must be sent to the Court for the judge’s approval.
♦ Every child/youth ages 7-17 is by law required to attend school until completion of a high school diploma or other approved program. Also any child under the age of 7 who is enrolled in kindergarten, pre-kindergarten, pre-school, or special education pre-school must attend school as well.
♦ If your child has (a) 3 days unexcused absences in a row; (b) 5 days or more unexcused absences in a semester; or (c) 7 days or more unexcused absences in a school year, they are considered truant and the school must contact the parent to determine if the truancy problem can be resolved.
♦ If there is no response from the parent, by law the school must make a Truancy Report to DCF if the child is 12 years or younger or to the District Attorney’s Office if the youth is 13 years or older. DCF and the District Attorney’s Office will investigate the report and determine what further action should occur.
♦ A family may become involved with Juvenile Court as a result of truancy.
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