McCullough, McLaughlin, Mincarelli & McCloskey have served as advocates for thousands of children in Dependency Court in Philadelphia. McCullough, McLaughlin, Mincarelli & McCloskey has also successfully represented thousands of cases involving parents and guardians in achieving the goal of reuniting them with their children.
Dependency cases are generally initiated by the Department of Human Services (DHS) in the interest of children who are believed to be without proper care. In these situations, DHS files a standard dependency petition in the appropriate Common Pleas court that declares the reasons why a child is without proper parental care and should be under court supervision. An adjudicatory hearing is subsequently held to determine if the allegations presented in the petition are true and if some court action is required. If a child is adjudicated ‘dependent’ in the hearing, meaning the child is without proper care, it allows the court to order services and programs for the child and family that include the following:
Drug, alcohol, or mental health evaluation for the child or parents.
Participation in parenting classes, family finding (locating other family members), family group decision making.
Removal of child from the home for temporary placement in a foster home, group home, or institution.
The ultimate goal of all dependency cases is to provide a permanent home for the child.