The Juvenile Court may help you when you have a child, between the ages of 6 and 18, that is giving you difficulty. Some of the difficulties you may experience may include any of the following:
- Your child repeatedly runs away from your home.
- Your child repeatedly fails to obey the lawful and reasonable commands by you. By not obeying your commands your child is then interfering with your ability to adequately care for and protect him or her.
- Your child repeatedly fails to obey the lawful and reasonable regulations of your child’s school.
- Your child is habitually truant from school.
- Your child has been sexually exploited.
The Juvenile Court Judge may order the following:
- Permit your child to remain with you as his/her parents subject to such conditions and limitations as the court may prescribe.
- Place your child in the care of a relative, probation officer, or other adult individual.
- Place your child in a private charitable or childcare agency, or a private organization and with such conditions and limitations as the court may recommend.
- Place your child in the custody of the Department of Children and Families (DCF).
The judge does not have the authority to order that your child be enrolled in a specifically named, specialized private school. When your child is in the custody of DCF, the court does not have the authority to order DCF to place your child in a specific program.
The Juvenile Court Judge’s ordered CRA disposition may not exceed 120 days. The Juvenile Court Judge may after the trial and the initial dispositional order can extend its duration for up to 3 additional times. The time is to not exceed 90 days if the court finds that the purposes of the order have not been accomplished. The Judge may also find that the extension would be likely to further those purposes.
As a Parent you have many rights in a Child Requiring Assistance Case. Here are some of the most important rights:
- You have the right to attend all court hearings.
- You have the right to be represented by an attorney at any hearing in which the judge considers removing your child from your custody and your home. When you cannot afford to hire an attorney, the court will appoint an attorney for you.
- You have the right to a language interpreter and/or a sign language interpreter when you do not speak or understand English.
- You have the right to have another court review the decisions a Juvenile Court judge makes on your case.
The child requiring assistance terminates one the child reaches 18 years of age. Any party may file a motion at any time prior to a dispositional hearing for the judge. The dismissal must be in the best interests of your child or if all parties agree to the dismissal. When a CRA petition is dismissed prior to a fact-finding hearing, the court shall order the expungement of all records pertaining to the case. The judge who conducted the hearing on the acceptance of the application for assistance shall not preside at any subsequent hearing (these rights may be waived). The standard of proof is beyond a reasonable doubt at such a hearing.