(a)    Contents of Petition.

(1)    Only those authorized by law may file a petition alleging that a child is in need of services. Each petition shall be entitled a petition for child(ren) in need of services and shall allege sufficient facts showing the child to be in need of services based upon applicable law.

(2)    The petition shall contain allegations as to the identity and residence of the parents or custodians, if known.

(3)    The petition shall identify the age, sex, and name of the child. Two or more children may be the subject of the same petition.

(4)    More than one allegation of children in need of services may appear on the same petition, in separate counts.

(b)    Verification. The petition shall be signed by the petitioner, stating under oath the petitioner’s good faith. No objection to the petition on the grounds that it was not signed or verified, as herein provided, shall be entertained after a plea to the merits.

(c)    Amendments. At any time before or during an adjudicatory hearing, an amended petition may be filed or the petition may be amended by motion. Amendments shall be freely permitted in the interest of justice and the welfare of the child. A continuance may be granted upon motion and a showing that the amendment prejudices or materially affects any party.

(d)    Defects and Variances. No petition or any count thereof shall be dismissed, or any judgment vacated, on account of any defect in the form of the petition or of misjoinder of counts. If the court is of the opinion that the petition is so vague, indistinct, and indefinite as to mislead the child, parent, or custodian and prejudice any of them in the preparation of a defense, the petitioner may be required to furnish a more definite statement.

(e)    Voluntary Dismissal. At any time before entry of an order of adjudication, the child(ren) in need of services petition may be voluntarily dismissed by petitioner without leave of the court by serving a notice of dismissal on all parties, or, if during a hearing, by so stating on the record. Unless otherwise stated, the dismissal shall be without prejudice.