State and federal law for dependency and termination cases creates a timeframe within which certain hearings must be held and decisions made. You will want to talk to your attorney about these hearings and their legal strategy to help you at each one.
- Shelter Care Hearing
72 hours of child being picked up, not including weekends and holidays
- Fact-Finding Hearing
75 days of filing of dependency petition.
- Disposition Hearing
- 14 days after dependency is ordered.
Requires a court report created by the DCYF case worker be provided to the court and parties 10 working days prior to the hearing.
- Dependency Review Hearing
- 90 days from disposition or 6 months after original placement, whichever is first.
- Court will review compliance and progress of dispositional order.
- Permanency Planning Hearing
- 12 months from original placement date
- Plan could be: return home, adoption, guardianship, long term foster/relative care, independent living, or third-party custody.
- It is not uncommon for a court to order more than one permanent plan.
- Termination Petition
If the child is out of home for 15 of 22 months, then a termination petition must be filed unless the court finds a compelling reason not to.