Colorado defines a dependency and neglect case as a civil legal action begun by the department of health and human services. This type of action can be incredibly complex with many agencies investigating these allegations. At Knies, Helland & McPherson Law, our attorneys will protect your rights while initiating our own investigation into the allegations. Once we gather information from both sides, we can defend your rights and the rights of your children.
To schedule your appointment, call our office at (719) 626-8530 today.
What Is Child Abuse & Neglect?
Definitions for this action are established on a Federal level, state level, and the local court system. On the federal level, the definitions of abuse and neglect are written in the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA).
The CAPTA defines abuse and neglect as:
- Recent acts or failure to act on an action that resulted in the death of a minor child.
- Causing severe physical or emotional harm to the minor child.
- Any form of sexual abuse or exploitation.
- Acting or failing to act on an action that causes the child serious harm or risk of serious harm.
How Does Colorado Law Define Dependency & Neglect?
The state defines dependency and neglect as any action or refusal to act that results in serious injury or death of the child or threat of these actions.
Examples of abuse and neglect include:
- A minor child’s body showing signs of bruising, bleeding, burns, fractures, swelling, malnutrition, or death.
- Any instance of a child’s exposure to sexual behavior.
- Any instance of a child in need of food, clothing, shelter, medical care, supervision, or any other action that provides them with care.
- Any instance of a child suffering from emotional abuse. This abuse is defined as a significant impairment to their intellectual, psychological, or emotional development.
- Any instance where a child is present for or resides in the home of a person suffering from severe substance abuse.
- Any instance of a child testing positive for a controlled substance at the time of birth.
Who Is Permitted to Report Abuse?
Any concerned party or party with regular access to the child can report an instance of neglect or abuse. However, the child must show obvious signs of abuse or neglect for the guardian to be charged with this action. If anyone knows about instances of abuse and/or neglect and fails to report this, they may face legal consequences as well as face liability for any subsequent actions against the child.
What Should I Expect from a Dependency & Neglect Case?
Parents and guardians accused of child neglect are subject to extensive investigations and interviews. Our attorneys will be with you every step of the way and help you and your child prepare for the investigation period as well as the case. We understand the emotionally charged atmosphere surrounding this type of case and offer compassionate legal counseling.
Some common factors of a dependency and neglect case are:
- Providing current and accurate information about the child and the child’s care to the court.
- Allowing the child to be interviewed and observed by the court-appointed investigator.
- Meeting with and allowing the court-appointed investigator to watch how you interact with your child on a daily basis.
- Allowing the court-appointed investigator to perform any relevant interviews. These interviews must be conducted in the presence of your attorney.
- Allowing the court-appointed investigator to perform a home visit to see where the child lives and the home environment they are subjected to.
Providing Skilled Legal Advocacy to Parents & Children
At Knies, Helland & McPherson Law, we understand the devastating effects an accusation of this nature can have on a family. We are here to provide patient and compassionate legal counsel as well as help you best prepare for the court proceedings.
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