Often a Department of Social Services (DSS) investigation does not begin with a child being taken into emergency custody. In fact, an investigation may be opened for many different kinds of reasons. If the investigation determines that services are needed but the problem in the home or with the parent doesn’t require removing the child from home, you may be faced with an intervention hearing.
In an intervention hearing, the DSS will ask the court to order that your child receives specific services. Much like a merits or removal hearing, DSS must prove that your child was abused or neglected in a particular way. Additionally, the court will issue a treatment plan. The treatment plan is very similar to the placement plan, with the key difference that the child remains placed with you. The treatment plan will list the things that need to occur in order for you to satisfy DSS that your home is safe for your child or children.
Aftermath of the Treatment Plan
The court will review the treatment plan when you have a review hearing; the judge will determine whether you have substantially completed what was ordered. If you have completed what was ordered and there are no more problems, the case will close. If the court finds there are still problems in the home, the case will remain open and additional services may be ordered.
It is, of course, vitally important that you follow the treatment plan when one is issued. If you fail to comply with the judge’s orders, you can find yourself in deeper trouble—and your failure to do what your child requires may spur the DSS to ask the judge to take your child away at a later hearing.
If you are involved in a DSS case and would like to discuss it with an attorney, please contact the lawyers at Holland & Usry at 864.582.0416 or toll-free at 888.230.1841 for a confidential consultation. Let us help you keep your family together.