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Guide for Lawyers Appointed in Child Protection Cases

NCJ Number
Date Published
16 pages
This guide offers information relevant to attorneys appointed in child protection cases in family court.
Pursuant to Rule 608, SCACR, attorneys may be appointed to represent parents, the guardian ad litem, or they may be appointed as a guardian ad litem. A description of the Children’s Law Office reveals that the agency, which produced this guide, serves as a statewide resource for attorneys and other practitioners involved in the judicial proceedings of child protection cases in South Carolina. Part 1 of the guide offers definitions applicable in child abuse and neglect cases. The definitions were derived from the State Child Protection Act and include definitions of child; child abuse and neglect; parent, guardian, or other responsible person; physical injury; mental injury; and substance abuse. Part 2 of the guide offers checklists and a flow chart for hearings in a child protection case. The six checklists outline the requirements for each of the six possible proceedings in a family court child protection case: a Probable Cause Hearing, a Removal Hearing, an Initial Permanency Planning Hearing, Additional Permanency Planning Hearings, a Termination of Parental Rights Hearing, and an Intervention Hearing. Part 3 of the guide presents reprints of the guidelines for Guardians Ad Litem, which were originally produced by the South Carolina Bar. The role and responsibilities of the Guardian Ad Litem are explicated in these guidelines, which include recommendations for qualifications and training and experience. Contact information is provided for the Children’s Law Office at the University of California School of Law.