What is a CHIPS case?

A CHIPS (Child in Need of Protective Services) is a type of court case that deals with the safety, health, care and welfare of children.  This sort of case can include parents who may have drug addiction, untreated mental illness or who are physically abusing their children.  The purpose of these cases is to either remove the children from that parent’s household or put conditions on the parents to reduce some of the harm being done to the children and to start a court process to help the children return to the parents fully once the home environment is safe.

Anyone can file, or start, a CHIPS Petition to court.  The case would go through a specific court process to hopefully reunite children with their parents.  If the home is too dangerous for the children to be with their parents the children could be placed on a 72 hour hold (excluding holidays and weekends) with a relative.  Children could be out of the home longer and placed in a foster home.

The purpose of a CHIPS case is to help children return to their parents.  Parents are provided an opportunity to either admit or deny the allegations of harm are happening.  The parents may want a trial to contest the case, but each parent should speak with an attorney as soon as this case begins to weigh the best options moving forward.

The Children’s Justice Initiative, a collaboration between the Minnesota court system and the Minnesota Department of Human Services, created a video about the CHIPS court process.  The link to the video is http://www.mncourts.gov/Help-Topics/CJI.aspx.  The video provides an overview of how the court process works and the timelines parents have to work toward having their children return back to their home.

Parents who have questions about the CHIPS should contact experienced family law attorney Jessica L. Sterle at (218) 722-2655 to schedule a consultation.

Jessica Sterle