The stakes in a dependency matter are extremely high. Indeed, one’s parental rights over his child could be forever terminated in such a matter, so it is imperative that the parties involved receive sufficient notification of the hearings which take place and are given a full opportunity to participate. The trial court, in In the Interest of K.S., a Minor, Appeal of A.L.W., 2017 WL 1162449, has made it clear that proper notice and participation of the parties is absolutely essential in a dependency case.

In K.S., the child-at-issue (the child) was placed into a series of homes due to mistreatment and an inability of the child’s parents to care for the child. Due to the instability of the child’s housing, Children and Youth Services (CYS) eventually filed a shelter care application requesting temporary placement of the child into the custody of CYS. A hearing was scheduled for the shelter care application, however the child’s mother (hereinafter mother) and father were both incarcerated at the time of that hearing.

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