Minnesota’s Children in Need of Protection or Services program (CHIPS) protects children’s welfare, safety and health. Kids might be placed in CHIPS for numerous reasons, such as neglect, abuse, habitual running away or truancy. The state generally attempts to keep children with their biological parents but does place them in foster care if needed.

CHIPS Classifications

There are a number of protective service case classifications. These include:

•    Runaways;
•    Children in need of protection;
•    Children whose parents lose their parental rights;
•    Truants;
•    Children who have been voluntarily placed; and
•    Delinquents younger than 10 years of age.

CHIPS Process

The County Social Service Agency first investigates the case. After the agency receives approval from the County Attorney’s Office, the case is labeled as CHIPS. A petition is then filed with the court. The Court Administrator prepares the paperwork and schedules service of the Summons and Notice to all involved parties, along with scheduling a hearing. The parties can agree on the outcome of the case, or the case could go to trial, where a judge will rule on the CHIPS status of the child.

CHIPS Party Distinctions

Involved parties include the agency/person filing the petition, the child’s legal parent/guardian, the Guardian ad Litem and other parties as designated. For Native American children, their tribe is also listed as a party.

Participants, who have limited involvement in the case, might include the child, foster parents, other relatives and a non-custodial parent. However, a participant can seek to become a party in a case. The judge can grant or deny this request.

CHIPS Goals

The goal of child protective services is to provide as much support as possible to the child, such as medical care, mental health services, dental care and education. The county and the child’s family cooperate to establish a plan in the child’s best interests with his or her safety as the top priority.

In the case of foster care, the parents have a year to resolve their issues so that the child can return home. After a year, the courts begin a permanency case, and parental rights might be terminated. Permanency cases also serve to assign a new legal guardian to the child.

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Photo of Jason C. Brown Jason C. Brown

“I used to handle commercial litigation downtown, but it wasn’t very fulfilling. As Minnesota family law attorneys we have the privilege of helping people during one of the most challenging times they will face. This stuff really matters to our clients – and…

“I used to handle commercial litigation downtown, but it wasn’t very fulfilling. As Minnesota family law attorneys we have the privilege of helping people during one of the most challenging times they will face. This stuff really matters to our clients – and to us. We take pride in helping people move forward with their lives.”

Jason founded the Brown Law Offices, P.A. He has received national media attention for his work in the area of divorce and family law.

Jason Brown founded the Brown Law Offices, P.A., after clerking for the (now retired) Chief Judge of Minnesota’s Tenth Judicial District. He is an experienced trial lawyer, who handled a wide variety of cases (including civil commitment, criminal defense, probate, personal injury and commercial litigation) early in his career.

Today, Jason’s practice is dedicated exclusively to divorce and family law matters. He has successfully litigated against some of the more recognized family law attorneys in the Twin Cities. He has been named a “Super Lawyer” by Thomson Reuters, and one of the Top 100 Family Law Attorneys in Minnesota by the Society of Legal Advocates.

Jason is the former chairperson of the Family Law Section of the Minnesota Trial Lawyer’s Association, and taught divorce and family law coursework within the paralegal program at North Hennepin Community College. He publishes the Minnesota Family Law Blog, which has been recognized as a “Top 25″ by the Minnesota State Bar Association.

Local media appearances by Jason include WCCO Radio, KARE 11 Television, Fox 9 Television and WCCO Television. His national media appearances include NBC News, Time Magazine, USA Today and the Huffington Post.

Jason obtained his B.S., magna cum laude, from Minnesota State University, Mankato, and his J.D., cum laude, from the William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul. While in law school Jason was a published staff writer and associate editor for the William Mitchell Law Review.

In addition to his work as a lawyer, Jason serves as a mediator, and court-appointed early neutral evaluator, in divorce and family law cases throughout Minnesota.

Outside of the office, Jason plays the bass guitar and serves on the Board of Directors at Northgate Church. He and his wife, Cynthia, also an attorney, have two boys.