You may be dealing with an issue in which a social worker has come into your home and taken your child (or children) away from you. The children will now stay with the state until your issue is resolved.
You may be wondering who’s in charge of making the decision. Is it the job of the social worker who came to your house to also make the vital decision of whether or you not keep your kids?
Actually, it’s not. This decision lays at the feet of three different types of people within the community, which are typically judges.
The first type of person in charge of your case will be what most people think of when they hear the word judge. This party is the judge you see on television and in movies – black robe, gavel in hand. The judge is an elected official or appointed by the governor of the state you live in. The next type of person in charge is a judicial officer called a commissioner. This person is hired by the appointed judge to assist in these types of cases and rule when they are not available. They can act as a temporary judge in the real judge’s absence.
Finally, the last type of person who can make a decision in your case is called a referee. Usually hired by the real judge as well, the referee can also act as a temporary judge in your case. All three types of people have the ability to make a legally binding court order in your case. They can decide over custody arrangements, visitation rights, and many other aspects in regards to your children. They can choose to decide whether or not your kids go back home with you or if they are put with a relative or taken into foster care. Social services is a very necessary part of our system in order to protect our children, but if you need help in getting your children back, speak to an experienced attorney now to help resolve your matter as quickly as possible.