County Attorney and Human Services

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Duties of Attorney Representation in Human Services


Child Support

If a child is receiving public assistance, the taxpayers have a right to recoupment from that child’s noncustodial parent.  Child Support Officers refer these cases to the County Attorney.  The County Attorney brings a court action seeking a child support order.  Collection of child support can reimburse the taxpayers.  Sometimes the additional income can mean that the child and custodial parent can manage financially without public assistance.


Civil Commitments

Commitments may be brought on the basis of mental illness, chemical dependency, or developmental disability.  These cases are investigated by a Human Services Mental Health Case Worker.  They are then brought into court and advocated by the County Attorney.


Juvenile or Child Protection (CHIPS)

Child protection cases may be investigated by peace officers, social workers, or both.  Reports are filed with the County Attorney’s office for a determination whether to file a CHIPS petition.  If a petition is filed, the County Attorney advocates on behalf of the County.  The ultimate goal of any child protection proceeding is to ensure the safety and well-being of the child or children involved in that matter.


Paternity

Paternity establishment is important for children born out of wedlock.  Paternity establishment can mean a child has the right to child support, inherit property, social security income and other financial and social benefits.  Paternity cases are investigated by Human Services Child Support Officers.  These matters are brought into court and advocated by the County Attorney.