Dependency FAQ


What do I do if I suspect a child is being abused or neglected?

You may call the Child Protective Services Intake hotline at 1-800-330-1822.

How do I gain custody of a child that is in an unhealthy home?

You should make a report with CPS. You may also file a private petition for custody. You can do this by visiting the Clerk of the Superior Court Juvenile Division at 2225 E. Ajo Way. You must fill out a form and return it to the Clerk’s office and you will be notified when a hearing is set.

What will happen next?

This process has multiple steps:

The Preliminary Protective Hearing determines temporary custody, services and placement. This hearing also ensures that the rights of all parties are protected.

The Settlement Conference is for all parties to come together and discuss the allegations and try to reach an agreement.

The Adjudication Hearing is to determine if any of the allegations in the petition are true and justify continued court intervention.

The Disposition Hearing is a review of the long-term plan for the child, which includes placement, services and future reviews.

The Review Hearing is the Court’s review of any progress in the case. If necessary, the Court will also make changes to the case plan and issue needed orders. These hearings are held every 45 to 180 days.

The Permanency Planning Hearing is to determine a permanent plan for the child with respect to placement and parents. This hearing must be held within 12 months of the initial finding of dependency.

The Termination of Parental Rights Hearing will determine if the rights of the parent should be terminated and free the child for adoption.

The Adoption Hearing places the child with an adoptive family for permanent care.