A child is deprived when he/she is found by a court “to be without proper parental care or control, subsistence, education as required by law or other care and control necessary for one’s physical, mental or emotional health or morals.” When this occurs, the child is placed in the temporary custody of the Department of Family and Children Services, or a family member approved by the court. The parents work a case plan that is customized to their specific situation with the ultimate goal of reunifying the family. A parent might be ordered to attend parenting classes, show proof of stable housing and employment, enter drug treatment, etc. If needed, and the parents meet certain criteria, support services can be provided to the parents to help them successfully complete their case plan with the ultimate goal of reunifying the family.
Private Deprivation Action
Grandparents or other family members can seek temporary custody of a child they believe to be deprived by filing a private deprivation action in Juvenile Court against the child’s parents. If the Court finds the child to be deprived, the parents can be ordered to complete certain requirements with the goal of reunifying the family. Support services could be available to help the parents complete their tasks.
My many years of experience representing all sides in deprivation cases provides great understanding and insight into what can be expected in the courtroom. I have been appointed by the court to represent parents in cases where the children are placed in the temporary custody of the state and I have represented grandparents and other relatives in bringing private deprivation actions against a family member.