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What To Know About Child In Need Of Protection or Services (CHIPS) In Wisconsin

The filing of a CHIPS Petition can be a trying time for a parent or guardian.  You need to know your rights in this complicated legal process.  The attorneys at Eisenberg Law Offices are  experienced and qualified in dealing with these types of cases.  A minor can be identified as a Child In Need of Protection or Services for a wide range of reasons. Some of these reasons include children who are or who have been:

  • Without a parent or guardian
  • Considered abandoned
  • Victims of physical or sexual abuse
  • Not receiving sufficient care or (food, shelter, clothing, health care, etc.)
  • Victims of emotional abuse

Understanding The Process Once A CHIPS Case Get Initiated

In order to initiate a Child In Need Of Protection or Services investigation, a report of witnessed and/or suspected neglect or abuse must be reported to Social Services or Child Protective Services. Once the report has been made, a designated intake worker will evaluate the claim. If there is no evidence of abuse, neglect, or other safety concerns, the  intake worker can close the case. However, should there be findings of potential abuse, neglect, or other safety concerns a CHIPS petition  may be filed with the Wisconsin juvenile court system.

Once a petition has been filed, the CHIPS process will include various hearings  to move towards resolution of the case. The first step is the custody hearing where the court will determine where the child should live while the case is pending.  The next step is the plea hearing. This is where all involved parties listed in the petition are advised of their rights in the process and make critical decisions regarding how they  will move forward in the case.

If the facts in the petition are contested, there will be a trial or fact-finding hearing to either a judge or a six person jury. During the fact-finding hearing, parties will have the opportunity to present their case. Each will offer their evidence through witnesses about the allegations in the petition.

However, if neither party contests the CHIPS petition or if the judge or jury find that the allegations are true, a dispositional hearing will take place. The ongoing  worker will submit written recommendations to the court before the hearing regarding where the child should live and what conditions the parents should have to meet before the child can return home. If the child is placed in the parental home, the court will order rules of supervision that must be complied with during the term of supervision. Named parties in the case will still have an opportunity to accept or refute the recommendations and the court will make the final decision after hearing all the evidence and arguments on the issues.

Eisenberg Law Offices: Know Your Rights

If you are a parent in a Child In Need Of Protection or Services case, you need to know your rights. Contact Eisenberg Law Offices today at 608-256-8356 for a free consultation and review of your case.