Dependency (Deprivation) Cases

In addition to handling delinquent and unruly complaints, the Juvenile Court routinely handle cases alleging deprivation. According to OCGA § 15-11-2, a deprived child is defined as a child who is without proper parental care or control, subsistence, education as required by law, or other care or control necessary for his or her physical, mental, or emotional health or morals; has been placed for care or adoption in violation of the law; has been abandoned by his parents or other legal custodian; or is without a parent, guardian, or custodian.  These cases primarily come from three sources: the Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS), law enforcement, and private citizens.

DFCS is often the complainant.  The DFCS intake officer facilitates the processing of the petition from the complaint and plays a coordinating role to some extent in efforts made by the agencies involved in the placement of the child into shelter care or with a relative.  The intake officer schedules these cases for their first appearance before a judge, which occurs within 72 hours of the removal of the child from his or her parents or legal custodian.  Any initial detention has to be approved by a DJJ intake officer.  

If a police officer encounters a situation in which there is probable cause to believe a child is deprived and in danger from his or her immediate surroundings, the officer may take the child into protective custody and deliver him or her to the Juvenile Court.  In this instance, the intake officer is responsible for contacting DFCS to investigate relative placement of the child.  If there is no appropriate relative, the child will be placed into shelter care with DFCS pending court action.  The intake officer is also responsible for scheduling these cases for their initial appearance before a Juvenile Court judge.

Private Deprivation Cases
Frequently, an allegation of deprivation is made by a private citizen or family member, such as a grandparent.  The forms for such cases can be picked up at Juvenile Court or may be downloaded here.

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA)
The Richmond County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) program provides essential, high-quality advocacy, intervention and support to children who have been the victims of abuse and neglect in Richmond County, who are in the care and custody of relatives, or are involved in custody dispute cases. Statistical evidence shows that as numbers of substantiated child abuse and neglect cases rise, so does the need for effective intervention and expansion of current program capability. CASA programs represent a well-documented and nationally recognized response to this growing need. CASA volunteers, serving as the child’s own special advocate or Guardian Ad Litem, develop relationships with assigned children and families, enabling them to be a powerful voice and presence throughout the Juvenile Court. Trained CASA volunteers working with the Juvenile Court, the Division of Family and Children Services, and others from the community, provide support services and bring relevant information, resources, and recommendations to the courts in the best interests of children.  Richmond County CASA is also affiliated with Georgia CASA      

Child Enrichment, Inc.
Attn: CASA Program
PO Box 12036
Augusta, GA 30914-2036
Phone: (706) 737-4631
Fax: (706) 737-8977
Web Site:

For more information on becoming a volunteer with the Richmond County CASA program, please contact 706-737-4631.