According to Privett:

"I've been practicing law for over 35 years. This gives me the ability to make decisions based on experience and sound reasoning being seasoned in trial combat." 

Temporary Custody Attorneys and Procedures

When certain problems arise that put the health and well-being of a child in danger, certain precautions need to be taken immediately. When emergency temporary custody issues arise in Oklahoma, it is essential that legal assistance is sought, so that all of the problems that surround an emergency situation can be effectively resolved.

In order for a person to be considered as a possible protector for emergency temporary custody, required documents must be filled out in order to gauge the qualifications of a candidate guardian. The well-being of the child is the most important factor in a situation of danger, so it is essential that the potential guardian must meet all of the qualifications.

The court system would not want to remove a child from an existing dangerous situation only to place them into another dangerous situation in an emergency temporary custody case. Many people have to fill out the required documents in order to be taken into consideration, because, once again, it is the child’s welfare that takes precedence.

Purpose and Policy of Emergency Temporary Custody

Below is an outline of what could be loosely construed as a plan of attack for child welfare services departments across the country and in Oklahoma.  These departments are tasked with protecting the interests of minors and providing the right services to children in temporary custody and their families.

Policy of Emergency Detention

Emergency detention is sought only when available information indicates that a child is in immediate danger and family or community resources are not available to keep him or her safe.

When emergency circumstances dictate the emergency detention and placement of a child without the knowledge of the child's parents, every effort will be made to notify them as soon as possible of the child's status and of their legal rights.

Children in Temporary Custody

All parents of children in emergency care shall quickly be apprised of their appeal rights in regards to certain decisions made in furtherance of the interests of their child or children.

While any child is under the care of emergency temporary custody, the social worker assigned to the child and his or her supervisor will exercise due diligence in regards to finding a solution to the child’s situation that will meet his or her basic needs. These preparations and decisions tend to begin immediately upon taking over care of the child. 

One crucial factor to keep in mind during this situation is that any absent parents must be found as soon as possible so that they can be notified of the court proceedings that relate to their children. If it’s in the best interest of the child or children, the heretofore absent parent will be included in the child’s future plans.

What is an emergency temporary custody case?

An emergency temporary custody case is a proceeding held in court whereby a juvenile court judge makes a decision on whether or not a child was or is at risk of abuse or neglect by his or her caretaker, guardian or parent.

Furthermore, the judge will make a decision as to whether or not the current guardian is fit to care for the child in question. If he or she is not fit, the judge will make a custody decision. The standard used for this decision is always based on the child’s best interests and not the guardian’s.

How does an emergency temporary custody case begin?

An emergency temporary custody case can be filed by anyone over the age of majority. In the majority of cases, the initial pleadings are filed by the local Department of Social Services. That process is usually spurned by an initial report that’s made to DSS that a particular child or children are being physically, emotionally, psychologically or sexually abused or neglected by their parent or guardian, or by another caretaker who the guardian allows to have access to the child.

How is abuse and neglect defined?

Abuse can be doled out in many forms, including physical, psychological sexual or emotional. Many times this abuse will go way too far, and anyone with knowledge of this type of conduct needs to take it upon themselves to report it to the District Attorney immediately. Neglect differs somewhat from abuse, in that it is generally defined as either failing or refusing to provide a child with reasonable means to remain healthy and safe. Examples of neglect include not providing enough or adequate food, water, heat, medication, clothing or shelter. Conduct can also constitute neglect, such as when a guardian uses, sells drugs or controlled substances or performs sexual acts in the presence of a child.

Oklahoma Emergency Temporary Custody

As seen with the material provided, certain requirements must be met in order to file a report addressing the child’s welfare that’s in jeopardy. You have also seen a brief explanation regarding the procedure that is taken to ensure the child’s safety. Legal representation must be secured, because when a child’s welfare is in danger the court system must be used to protect that child.

Emergency temporary custody in Oklahoma and everywhere else was created to protect the health and well-being of the child, and here at Privett Law we can assist with the legal procedures that must be taken. Contact us now for a full consultation. Let us help you help a child in need!