A large amount of our legal practice at Michael & Casey deals with the Arizona Department of Child Safety, commonly known as DCS. This is Arizona’s current child welfare agency, formerly known as CPS or Child Protective Services.
Unfortunately, this agency is most well-known for removing children. When DCS believes significant intervention is required in a child’s life it will initiate what is called a “Dependency Proceeding” or “Dependency Action” in the Superior Court’s Juvenile Division section. Needless to say, this begins the process in which many hearings and legal proceedings will follow.
This post includes a chart meant to provide a brief outline of the dependency process, and also to highlight the complexity of Arizona’s dependency court proceedings.
Please note that this is a general outline of the Arizona dependency process created through professional experience as well as an in-depth review of court and government documents. Not all cases will follow this exact outline.
Additionally, it should be noted that there are many additional hearings that could be part of a case that are not depicted in this chart. These includes hearings such as: settlement conferences, hearings on motions filed with the court, and initial progress meditations. Also, not every case will include every hearing.
Every case, whether it be dependency, guardianship, adoption, or termination of parental rights is unique and complex. Please consult with an attorney regarding your case and for further information about the Arizona dependency process and child welfare.