Why does my family have a neglect case in Family Court?

Sometimes, when the caseworker thinks a family’s problems are very serious or that the children aren’t safe, or in cases where the parents don’t accept services, the caseworker will go to Family Court to file an abuse or neglect petition. The caseworker does this so a Family Court judge will have the power to make orders the caseworker thinks will help the family. If the caseworker thinks the children aren’t safe at home, her lawyer will ask the judge to order that the children be removed from their parents’ home and go stay with a foster parent or relative while the case is going on.

The judge assigns lawyers for the parents and guardians on each case, and for the children, too. The children’s lawyers are called law guardians.