Baby In Protective Custody In Kansas
In In re K.W., 24 Kan. App. 2d 724, 726, 953 P.2d 229 (1998) There, the parents of a 2-month-old child took him to the hospital because he had been vomiting all day and had become limp and unresponsive.
The father admitting to shaking the child in an attempt to arouse him.
The examining doctors stated the child had sustained brain injuries consistent with injuries inflicted by shaken baby syndrome.
The State filed CINC proceedings and the child was taken into protective custody and, later, into temporary custody by Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services (SRS). 24 Kan. App. 2d at 724.
Criminal charges were filed against the father for causing the child's injuries.
However, the charges were later dismissed for insufficient evidence.
Although the State requested a CINC adjudication hearing for the child, the trial court never conducted a hearing.
Five months after the infant had been taken into protective custody, the court ordered that he be returned to his parents.
The court based its decision on the expert testimony at the father's preliminary hearing, the evidence that no new charges were pending, and the belief that the child was the responsibility of the parents. the child died approximately 1 year later.
The In re K.W. court addressed the single issue of whether the Kansas Code of the Care of Children (KCCC) demands an adjudication hearing by the trial court before returning a child to the natural parents when an interested party had filed a CINC petition.
The clear purpose of the KCCC is to protect children who have been abused or neglected. K.S.A. 38-1521. the provisions of the KCCC are liberally construed to fulfill this purpose. K.S.A. 38-1501.
The In re K.W. court concluded: "When an interested party has filed a child in need of care petition and there has been no stipulation resolving this matter, the trial court is required to conduct an adjudication hearing." 24 Kan. App. 2d 724, Syl. P, 953 P.2d 229.
The court stated that to hold otherwise would undermine the entire framework of the KCCC and would prevent the State from carrying out one of the main purposes of the KCCC--to protect children who had been abused or who could potentially be abused. 24 Kan. App. 2d at 727.