A Child In Need of Services ("CHINS"), is a child that has been adjudicated to be in need of care, guidance, counseling, structure, supervision, treatment, or rehabilitation. To name a few, this can also include children who have missed more than the allotted amount of absences from school; a child that habitually disobeys their parents commands and is ungovernable; or even a runaway child. A "Delinquent Act", defined by O.C.G.A. § 15-11-2(19), is an act committed by a child that is designated as a crime by the laws of the state of Georgia, or the laws of another state if the act occurred in that state. Either one of these could potentially lead to your child being placed in YDC. You will need an attorney to help protect your rights as a parent and your child's rights.
A Dependency action can be a long and tedious process in the state of Georgia. Once a child is taken into DFACS custody, within 72 hours, the Juvenile Court must have a Preliminary Protective Hearing ("PPH"). A PPH is simply a probable cause hearing to determine if there is enough evidence to label the children dependent. A Dependent child is one who has been "abused or neglected"; has been placed for care or adoption in violation of the law; or is without his or her parent, guardian, or legal custodian under O.C.G.A. § 15-11-2(22). After the PPH, DFACS has five (5) days to file a Dependency Petition. Within ten (10) days after the petition has been filed, there will be an Adjudication Hearing or the "10 Day Hearing". Then, there will be another hearing within 75 days of the children being taken into care. You will need an experienced attorney to help you navigate through this process to get your kids back.