In Ohio the local county Children’s Services Agency is responsible for investigating complaints involving abuse, neglect and dependency with children. Abuse cases involve allegations of causing harm to a child, neglect cases involve allegations of mistreatment and failure to provide the proper care, and dependency cases typically involve allegations that the parent, through no fault of their own, needs the assistance of the Agency to assist with the child or children. If the complaints are substantiated the Agency will typically file a formal complaint in the county’s juvenile court. This can have serious consequences on a family, and may even lead to the permanent removal of children from their parents. Typically, the Agency will give parents certain objectives to meet to end their involvement, and to regain custody of the children.
If the Agency files a formal Complaint against a parent alleging abuse, neglect or dependency it is essential for the parent to have effective representation. An experienced attorney may be able to challenge whether or not the Complaint was filed with merit. If the Agency is asking for certain things from a parent that are impossible or inappropriate an experienced attorney can convince a judge to not include them as part of the case plan objectives, which will speed up the reunification process if the child has been removed.
Our attorneys have years of experience in handling these types of cases throughout Southwest Ohio and the Miami Valley. They have been effective at having various county agencies dismiss the complaints, having the Courts dismiss the complaints, tailor the case plans to what is realistic and reasonable given the circumstances, and negotiate the proper placement of the children if that is necessary until the family can get on their feet. Mr. Hooks has served as a Guardian ad Litem in Montgomery County Juvenile Court for several years. In that position he is responsible for investigating the allegations made by Children’s Services and determining whether there is any validity. If so, he makes recommendations to the Court as to what is appropriate in the best interest of the child. He has been a Guardian ad Litem in all types of high profile cases in Dayton, and the surrounding area and his experience serves our clients when they need representation in these cases.