Top 5 Things You Should Do to Get Your Children Back at the 6 Month Review Hearing

Assuming the worst case scenario, your children were taken away by Child Protective Services (“CPS”) or the Department of Children and Family Services (“DCFS”) social workers. Further assume that you did not regain custody at the Jurisdictional or Dispositional hearings / trials. If this happened you usually have 6 months to participate in a plan for Family Reunification Services. The hearing at the 6 month date is pursuant to California Welfare and Institutions Code (“WIC”) 366.21(e) or (f). This hearing is extremely important for the following reasons:

  1. At this hearing the social worker may be recommending that your children not be returned to your home.
  2. The social worker may be recommending that you not be given further Family Reunification Services. If this is the case:
    1. In many cases, the CPS / DCFS worker will be recommending that your parental rights be “terminated” in 120 days,
    2. That the foster parents adopt your child (yes, you’d lose your children forever.)
    3. The possibility of your children being placed with relatives, probably ends, and the children may remain with strangers (this assumes that the children are not already placed with friendly relatives).


1. Get a copy of the report from your attorney.

Sometimes your attorney may have a copy which is different from the copy mailed to you by the social worker. For example, frequently in Los Angeles County the copy you are mailed does not include the “attachments” or exhibits. These attachments can be extremely important.

2. Review the report, making written comments for your attorney.

Your comments should probably be typed on a separate piece of paper referencing the page and paragraph number of the report. For example: the social worker’s report may reference the fact that you did not complete your parenting class, when in fact you did.

On a separate piece of paper, you’d write: “The social worker’s report on page 3, paragraph 4 is not true. I have completed my parenting classes. The name, address, telephone number and email address of my parenting instructor is John Doe, 123 West North Street, Los Angeles, California, 213 555 1212,

Additionally, attach a copy of your parenting certificate or progress letter from the parenting course. You’d also attach copies of any certificate or progress letter for any of the family reunification services you’ve been participating in. If you cannot, get such a certificate or progress letter, you’d also note that in your check list.

3. Make a list of proposed Exhibits, and give that to your attorney so that s/he can distribute to the judge, all attorneys and the social worker.

These Exhibits should include the certificates and progress letters mentioned above. And include, drug testing results, character letters from family, friends, and other members of the community such as church leaders, teachers, children’s doctors and nurses; visitation logs, logs of all contact and communication with the social workers. If you need a template of these documents please contact our office, we’d be happy to email them to you free of charge.

4. Make a list of proposed witnesses.

This would include your reunification service providers, counselors and teachers. This list of witnesses should be given to your attorney so that you can discuss the list at your attorney-client meeting. The list should include the witnesses name, address, telephone, email address, and a 2 or 3 sentence summary of what the witness would testify about. For example, Dr. Jane Doe, 123 Civic Center Drive, Glendale, California 99999, 818 555 1212, “Dr. Doe will testify that I’ve been successfully been participating in my court ordered weekly domestic violence counseling. And, that I’m at a “no” or “low” risk of participating in domestic violence since I’ve learned the skills necessary to avoid domestic violence.”

5. Have a meeting with your attorney, before the court hearing and before any trial.

These meetings can take place by phone, Skype (which is free) or in person. It is imperative that you have these meetings to discuss your case and case strategy. I tend to favor in- person meetings, but I frequently do Skype meeting with clients who live in distant locations. For example, yesterday, I had two in-office meetings, and then a Skype meeting with client who lived in the Twenty Nine Palms area of California. (My main office is in Los Angeles County.)

Trials are usually scheduled at the hearing (if you don’t agree with the social worker’s recommendation). For example, if the social worker’s report recommends that the children not be returned home, you have the Constitutional right to schedule or “set” the case for a trial under Welfare and Institutions Code Section 366.21(e) or (f).

If you have a problem with CPS or DCFS social worker or your juvenile dependency case, call me at 888-506-6810. We can offer a free consultation, a case review, or a complete case analysis, or we can take over your case as your lawyers.

When you talk to me, Vincent W. Davis, you can be sure of one thing, that I am listening. Child Protective Services (CPS or DCFS) and your accusers have their story, and it is our job to make sure that your story is heard and we keep your family together. If your kids or grand-kids have already been taken, we will find the best and fastest way to reunite your family.

Call me personally - 888-888-6582 - I am waiting to hear your story now, to defend you and keep your family together or reunite you and your precious loved ones.

We Are Your Juvenile Dependency Lawyers and we are proud to serve    Los Angeles,   Orange,   Riverside,   San Bernardino , Ventura, and  San Diego Counties.


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