Dependency & Neglect Actions
What Is a Dependency and Neglect Action?
Teachers, doctors, nurses and child care workers are required to report suspected cases of abuse or neglect. However, anyone — neighbors, relatives and others — can voluntarily report a parent for child neglect or abuse. Even if the accusation is false, the reporter has immunity from prosecution if it was made in good faith.
Allegations of abuse and neglect are taken very seriously in Colorado. Once a report is made, the human services department (frequently called Social Services) may send case workers to your home. The case workers have the authority to remove your children from your home and temporarily place them in foster care or with a relative. Case workers can also begin a court action to terminate your parental rights and place your children up for adoption.
If the state determines that the allegation against you is founded, it can place you on the Colorado registry of child abusers. If you receive a letter saying your name is being placed in the registry, you should call an attorney right away.
Should I Talk to the Case Workers About the Allegations?
If at all possible, call our attorneys before you talk to the case workers. There may be both civil and criminal implications in these cases, so you need legal representation before you make statements.