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Juvenile Dependency Cases

Juvenile dependency cases are initiated when Department of Human Services Child Welfare (DHS) receives a report of concern for abuse or neglect of a child. If DHS believes a report needs to be investigated, DHS will send out a Protective Services Caseworker to investigate. That person may attempt to contact the family, extended family, teachers, kids, neighbors or anyone who they believe may have needed information. You do not have to allow them into your home; and you are not legally required to cooperate with them. HOWEVER, THERE ARE CONSEQUENCES TO THESE DECISIONS AND YOU SHOULD SEEK LEGAL ADVICE BEFORE YOU REFUSE TO COOPERATE WITH DHS.

*If you find yourself in need of legal advice to respond to DHS and you cannot afford to hire an attorney contact our office and we will try to get authorization to represent you before the courts become involved. 541-267-2472*

Juvenile dependency cases are intended to protect Oregon children. When a case is filed in the court you will be offered the opportunity to speak with an attorney at your first appearance if you cannot afford to hire one. You will have the opportunity to be heard on your child/ren’s placement if they have been removed from your home. These cases do not involve charges but are driven by what is called a petition. The petition contains allegations made by DHS but they are not criminal and you cannot go to jail based on this type of case. Your attorney can provide you with more information about this kind of case.