Child in Need of Protection or Services (CHIPS)

Child in Need of Protection or Services (CHIPS) cases are initiated by the County of a child’s residence. They are initiated by a Petition filed by the County. The County must allege that the child at issue in the Petition is in need of protection or services because the child is:

  • is abandoned or without parent, guardian, or custodian;
  • (i) has been a victim of physical or sexual abuse (ii) resides with or has resided with a victim of child abuse or domestic child abuse, (iii) resides with or would reside with a perpetrator of domestic child abuse or child abuse, or (iv) is a victim of emotional maltreatment;
  • is without necessary food, clothing, shelter, education, or other required care for the child’s physical or mental health or morals because the child’s parent, guardian, or custodian is unable or unwilling to provide that care;
  • is without the special care made necessary by a physical, mental, or emotional condition because the child’s parent, guardian, or custodian is unable or unwilling to provide that care;
  • is medically neglected, which includes, but is not limited to, the withholding of medically indicated treatment from a disabled infant with a life-threatening condition. The term “withholding of medically indicated treatment” means the failure to respond to the infant’s life-threatening conditions by providing treatment, including appropriate nutrition, hydration, and medication which, in the treating physician’s or physicians’ reasonable medical judgment, will be most likely to be effective in ameliorating or correcting all conditions, except that the term does not include the failure to provide treatment other than appropriate nutrition, hydration, or medication to an infant when, in the treating physician’s or physicians’ reasonable medical judgment: (i) the infant is chronically and irreversibly comatose; (ii) the provision of the treatment would merely prolong dying, not be effective in ameliorating or correcting all of the infant’s life-threatening conditions, or otherwise be futile in terms of the survival of the infant; or (iii) the provision of the treatment would be virtually futile in terms of the survival of the infant and the treatment itself under the circumstances would be inhumane;
  • is one whose parent, guardian, or other custodian for good cause desires to be relieved of the child’s care and custody, including a child who entered foster care under a voluntary placement agreement between the parent and the responsible social services agency;
  • has been placed for adoption or care in violation of law;
  • is without proper parental care because of the emotional, mental, or physical disability, or state of immaturity of the child’s parent, guardian, or other custodian;
  • is one whose behavior, condition, or environment is such as to be injurious or dangerous to the child or others. An injurious or dangerous environment may include, but is not limited to, the exposure of a child to criminal activity in the child’s home;
  • is experiencing growth delays, which may be referred to as failure to thrive, that have been diagnosed by a physician and are due to parental neglect;
  • has engaged in prostitution;
  • has committed a delinquent act or a juvenile petty offense before becoming ten years old;
  • is a runaway;
  • is a habitual truant;
  • has been found incompetent to proceed or has been found not guilty by reason of mental illness or mental deficiency in connection with a delinquency proceeding, a certification to face criminal charges as an adult, an extended jurisdiction juvenile prosecution, or a proceeding involving a juvenile petty offense;
  • has a parent whose parental rights to one or more other children were involuntarily terminated or whose custodial rights to another child have been involuntarily transferred to a relative and there is a case plan prepared by the responsible social services agency documenting a compelling reason why filing the termination of parental rights petition is not in the best interests of the child; or
  • is a sexually exploited youth.

Children who are subject to CHIPS proceedings may be removed from their parent’s care and the parent’s may be required to complete a case plan that governs programming for the parents and what type of contact may be had between the parents and the children. CHIPS cases have complicated statutory rules and may also implicate federal law like the Indian Child Welfare Act.

Contact us to arrange an appointment to speak to one of our lawyers about your CHIPS case.

*This material is educational only, it does not constitute legal advice, it should not be relied on and it does not create an attorney-client relationship.