CHIPS cases are started because there has been an allegation that a child is abused or neglected, truant, a runaway or otherwise in need of protection or services. In Minnesota, the goal of most CHIPS cases is to reunify the family. If a child is adjudicated CHIPS, the child’s custodial parent or guardian will be required to comply with a case plan designed to ensure the child can be safely returned home or safely remain in the home. However, the rules and procedures of these types of cases are complex. If the issues are not resolved within a certain timeframe, a permanency case may be started. A permanency case may involve transferring legal and physical custody to a relative or the termination of parental rights of one or both parents.
If you are the noncustodial parent, family member or close friend of the child involved in a CHIPS case, it is important that you assert any rights you may have to participate in the process early on in the case. These rights may include requesting placement of the child with you, the ability to participate in hearings and to be provided with other updates regarding the case.