In Rhode Island, A family member may step up with a minor child is at risk. These risks may include neglect or abuse based on an addiction to alcohol or controlled substances. Under these circumstances, the family member may acquire temporary custody pending the investigation. A family law attorney in Cranston, RI helps these family members through this process.
Identifying the Risk to the Child
The first step is to report the risks to the authorities. The family member may discuss the situation with a local law enforcement agency so they can help them connect to child protective services. This agency can launch an investigation and remove the child from their home if a risk is present.
Working with Child Protective Services
The family member should work with child protective services to acquire custody. They can offer to take the child and provide care pending the investigation. A caseworker is assigned to the case, and they visit the home of the child to evaluate the living conditions. After that, they generate a report that they return to the court to support any evidence of child abuse or neglect.
Acquiring Temporary Custody
A judge may award temporary custody to the adult family member when a risk is present. This assignment lasts for one year typically. The family member must provide adequate support for the child and will be subject to home studies with the caseworker. The caseworker files further reports with the court based on their assessment of the new arrangements.
The Formal Guardianship Hearing
During the formal hearing, the court determines if the risk is still present. A biological parent who is addicted to drugs or alcohol must participate in a treatment program. The results of treatment determine if they are fit to raise their child. If any risks remain, the adult family member gains guardianship of the child. The court may terminate the biological parent’s rights to the child.
In Rhode Island, an adult family member may petition the court to gain guardianship of a minor. The terms of this assignment indicate that the child is at risk in their current living environment.