We help parents, relatives, and potential guardians with CINA (Child in Need of Assistance) and TPR (Termination of Parental Rights) cases
If a child protective services agency believes that a child is at immediate risk of harm, they can remove that child from their parents’ care at a shelter care hearing.
If the agency believes that the child has been abused or neglected, they can ask that the child be found CINA (Child in Need of Assistance).
If the child is found CINA and the parents do not address the issues within a reasonable amount of time, the agency may seek to terminate the parents’ parental rights and free the child for adoption so that permanency can be achieved.
A child is CINA if they require court intervention because:
- they have been abused or neglected
- they have a developmental disability or a mental disorder and the child’s parents, guardian or custodian are unable or unwilling to give proper care and attention to the child and the child’s needs.
If a child has been in an out of home placement for 15 of the most recent 22 months, the Department of Social Services will file a petition to terminate parental rights.
Within 180 days of the filing of a petition to terminate parental rights, the trial court will decide whether the Department has proven by clear and convincing evidence that it is in the child’s best interest to terminate parental rights.
FLAG can offer parents facing the potential loss of custody and/or their parental rights the experienced advocacy they need in these highly emotional cases.
The stakes cannot be higher; take the wrong path or action and your legal right to call yourself the parent of your child can be terminated.
The Managing Attorney of FLAG’s Child Welfare Division has over thirteen years of experience in CINA/TPR cases and has represented hundreds of parents and thousands of children.
He has served for the past nine years as supervising attorney of the second largest provider of representation for children in child welfare cases in the state of Maryland.
FLAG has the experience; we can help you take positive steps to regain custody of your child.
The goal of any CINA/TPR case should be to reunite families. Maryland CINA/TPR law is clear that the Department of Social Services must work with parents towards reunification.
FLAG has developed relationships statewide with stakeholders in child welfare cases. We will assist you in achieving your goal by acting as an intermediary with the local Department and a strong advocate in the courtroom.
You need to act immediately as time passes quickly once a TPR Petition has been filed; in most cases it is often too late to achieve reunification.
Avoid getting engulfed in conflict and further away from your goal. Seek assistance from our experienced attorneys immediately to help you achieve your goal of reuniting your family.