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When a Child is at Risk or Needs Permanence

Child welfare law broadly includes any legal process or circumstance related to the health and safety of children, particularly of children who are, or have been, at risk of abuse or neglect, or are lacking an appropriate caregiver.  Whether you are the parent of a child involved with a North Carolina child welfare agency (DSS) investigation or case, or a caring adult involved with a child at risk or with an active child welfare case, child welfare attorney Christopher Peace is experienced in all aspects of child welfare representing parents, family members, non-relative kin, foster parents, legal custodians, guardians, and/or pre-adoptive parents across North Carolina.

We Will Guide You: From Kinship or Foster Care to Adoption

The typical child welfare case in which we advise caregivers involves parents who have challenges amounting to significant obstacles to caring for a child.  In order to provide the best service to these caregiver clients (possibly including parents in appropriate cases) and ultimately help children be their healthiest and happiest in his clients’ care, Chris stays current with changes in the areas of social services policy and juvenile law and court practice, including identifying and monitoring problems and trends statewide relating to foster parents’ rights, and best practices for kinship placement.  As a recognized leader in North Carolina adoption law, Dempsey Law is prepared to provide all the support and counsel clients may need to make the goal of adoption a reality!

Exemplary cases:

  • Successfully Reversed a Year’s Worth of Bad Court Judgments in a North Carolina juvenile court matter due to the Court’s failure to include client, a caretaker relative of the child, in the case as a party.   
  • Received a Stay of Placement from the North Carolina Supreme Court on behalf of foster parent-clients, pending the outcome of an appeal of the dissolution of clients’ legal guardianship without honoring their lawful party status.
  • Defended Pre-Adoptive Parents Against NC Responsible Individuals List Case based on DSS failure to include required content in RIL letter as delivered within required timeframe.  Representation included successful defense of trial court (summary judgment) decision on appeal.
  • Successfully Reversed a County DSS Substantiation which had wrongfully identified foster parent clients as responsible for neglect of a child where no neglect had occurred and the intake and investigation was improper.
  • Successfully Advocated for Goal Change to Adoption on behalf of relative caregiver clients where DSS had been pushing for guardianship and private TPR and adoption costs would be prohibitive to clients.

As your child welfare attorney, Christopher Peace can work with you in a variety of capacities, from background coach and counselor for your own direct dealings with County social services and other agencies, to juvenile courtroom advocate, to appellate attorney in appropriate cases.  As a responsible adult attempting in good faith to do what is best for a child, you need and deserve clear and helpful guidance and support in navigating the very murky legal, procedural, and bureaucratic world of child welfare cases, both in and out of court.  While most foster parents or family members involved in caring for a child in need face very serious legal decisions, such as whether to accept legal custody, guardianship, or adoption on the terms offered by DSS or the Court, most of these caregivers soldier on without the guidance or counsel of an attorney who is knowledgeable and experienced in this area and familiar with social services bureaucracy.  Worry not: help is available for you!

Protect Your Interests and Protect A Child You Love

Benefit from our years of experience and personal approach by calling call our Charlotte, North Carolina, law office at 704-251-2500 and learning how our child welfare attorney and entire team of legal professionals can help. You can also reach us via email by completing our online contact form.