A dependency case is when the Department of Children and Families becomes involved and initiates a proceeding to have children declared dependent and therefore in need of protection by the Department. This happens when there are allegations of child abuse or child neglect. These legal proceedings are governed by Florida Statutes, chapter 39 and sometimes chapter 63 related to adoption. When a child or children is protected by DCF, the child can be placed in a foster home or with a family member. It is important to be mindful of your legal rights as a parent or other family member in a dependency case. If you are a parent, Mercedes R. Wechsler, P.A. can help you through the difficult and often frustrating dependency system to help you complete your case plan and move towards getting your children back in your care. If you are a family member such as an aunt, uncle, or grandparent, and you wish to be involved or even care for the children, Mercedes R. Wechsler, P.A. can help you assert your rights under the law to have the children temporarily or permanently placed with you.