The state of Wisconsin has protections in place for juveniles who need help, and special court cases – called CHIPS cases – are opened to provide special services for kids. CHIPS stands for child in need of protection and/or services, and these cases are available until children reach the legal age of responsibility. Until that time, kids depend on adults for care and protection.
When parents can’t – or won’t – properly care for their children, the juvenile court may step in. That can happen in parent and guardian cases, as well as neglect and abuse cases.
CHIPS in Parent and Guardian Cases
CHIPS in parent and guardian cases typically involve children:
- Who don’t have a parent or guardian
- Whose parent or guardian has petitioned the court for help with the child’s care
- Who petition the court for themselves
- With inadequate care from a parent
- Who have been abandoned
CHIPS in Neglect and Abuse Cases
CHIPS in neglect and abuse cases typically involve kids who:
- Have been abuse victims in the past
- Are at-risk for abuse
- Have been placed for care or adoption unlawfully
- Have been neglected or who are at substantial risk for neglect
- Are suffering from emotional damage or an alcohol or drug abuse impairment
- Have not been immunized as required by law
How Does a CHIPS Case Start?
Typically, a CHIPS case begins when someone makes a report of abuse or neglect to Child Protective Services or Social Services. A caseworker will evaluate the situation and see if the report appears to be valid; if he or she doesn’t find any safety issues, the case can be closed. If the case worker does find safety issues, he or she will document the issues and file a petition.
Are CHIPS Court Hearings Confidential?
CHIPS court hearings are confidential, which means it’s probably in your best interest to have an attorney represent you.
Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer About a CHIPS Case?
If you’re involved – or about to become involved – in a CHIPS case, call us at 414-383-6700 to schedule a free consultation with an attorney as soon as possible. We may be able to help.