The majority of dependency proceedings in Juvenile Court involve the Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS). However, individuals can also file private dependency proceedings in Juvenile Court. Under Georgia law, a child may be “dependent” if he or she is without proper parental care or control, subsistence, education as required by law, or other care or control necessary for the child’s physical, mental, or emotional health or morals; has been placed for care or adoption in violation of law; has been abandoned by his or her parents or other legal custodian; or is without a parent, guardian, or custodian. Some common examples of situations in which Courts may find a child dependent include but are not limited to neglect; physical, emotional, and/or sexual abuse; domestic violence in the presence of the children; an inability of the parents or legal custodian to meet the needs of the children; and if the parents or custodians have unresolved substance abuse issues and/or unresolved mental health issues.
Prior to opening The Chapman Law Firm, LLC, attorney Jessica Chapman represented the Cherokee County Department of Family and Children Services for three years in dependency proceedings in Juvenile Court. Jessica presently serves as a Court appointed Guardian Ad Litem in Juvenile Court representing the best interests of children. As such, she is very familiar with the dependency process and is committed to helping abused and neglected children. If you are concerned that a child you know is being abused or neglected, contact us today to explore how we can help.