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How difficult will it be to take away visitation rights from a sex offender?

It may be possible to terminate parental rights under Florida juvenile dependency law. A conviction may also give the Florida family court reason to significantly restrict and/or condition the offender’s contact with your child.

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May a stepfather file for adoption in Florida if termination of parental rights was executed in South Carolina?

The step-parent adoption is properly filed in Florida if the child has lived in Florida for more than 6 months.

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As a nanny am I obligated to call social services?

Anyone with knowledge of child abuse or neglect is should make a report with the Florida Abuse Hotline. If you are asking the question because something is wrong, and children have been harmed or are at risk of harm – make the call.

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Can we adopt our 3 grandchildren after 7 years of permanent guardianship?

Seeking to adopt the children means going back to dependency court and being able to meet all legal requirements to have the parents’ rights terminated. DCF rarely reopens permanent guardianship cases. However, you can petition the court seeking to adopt. Discuss your case with an attorney well versed in dependency law before making any decisions. There is a lot to be considered.

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Can DCF reunify child with a mother who has two open felony charges?

DCF has a responsibility to inform the court of the mother’s charges. The mother’s unresolved criminal charges will make a difference if there is a possibility of incarceration. It does not make sense to reunify today only to remove tomorrow because the parent has a sentence to serve. It is possible that DCF is keeping a reunification goal while waiting to see the result of criminal charges.

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How do I terminate parental rights for a registered sex offender who is currently in prison for 16 years?

You can file a petition to have the father’s rights involuntarily terminated. DCF may not get involved as the child’s father is incarcerated and does not have access to the child. Retain an attorney well versed in Florida dependency law to help you through the legal process.

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What is a safety plan with CPS in Florida?

Florida Department of Children & Families Child Protection Services are concerned about child safety. A voluntary safety plan is an agreement with requirements for parents to engage in services to address child safety concerns. The safety plan may include an agreement for parents to have restricted or supervised contact with children until services are complete. Safety plans often avoid legal action to remove children from parents through the dependency court process.

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What is considered child neglect?

Depriving a child of necessary food, clothing, shelter or medical treatment, or allowing a child to live in an environment that causes or may cause a child’s physical, mental, or emotional health to be significantly impaired is considered child neglect. Discuss your concerns with an attorney, do not wait for irreparable harm to occur.

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My son died, and the mother has two child abuse cases. What can I do to help my grandchildren?

You should discuss your case with an attorney. There may be action you can take to ensure the safety and well-being of the children whether DCF is involved or not.

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Can I petition for removal of a child from an unsafe home and for legal guardianship if I’m not next of kin?

You can be the petitioner in a dependency case seeking to be the custodian, permanent guardian or possibly adoptive parent of the child. Any person with knowledge can petition the court. While most dependency cases are initiated by the Florida Department of Children & Families (DCF), it does not have to be DCF that files the case.