What is a Protective Custody Hearing?

During the Protective Custody Hearing the social worker explains to the judge why your child was placed into protective custody. You are then given a chance to talk to the judge. Based on the facts, the judge decides if your child will remain in protective custody or be released to you.

If the judge decides that your child should remain in protective custody, the judge will issue a Protective Custody Order. Protective Custody Orders only last for ten (10) days. If the problems are fixed during these ten (10) days, Social Services may return your child to your custody. If it is necessary to keep custody of your child for more than ten (10) days, then Social Services must file a legal document called a Petition for Hearing in Family Court.

During this time, Social Services will continue to work with you to solve the problems that caused the abuse or neglect. Your child will live with a foster family or with a suitable relative, or in some cases with you. You must get permission from Social Services before you travel out of the area or allow new people to move into your home if your child is living with you while Social Services has custody of your child.

Washoe County Department of Social Services has the responsibility to make sure that your child is safe and receives proper care. Your involvement in your child`s medical, dental and educational care is important. Talk to your social worker about any concerns you have regarding your child`s care.