The state will act immediately if they have a valid reason to take the custody of your child. A witness makes a call to the DFCS Hotline and claims that the child is ill-treated and forsaken by their parents; then the DFCS sends an examiner to examine the case. The examiner interviews the witness who made the call, the abandoned child, the parent, and the other people who are directly or indirectly involved with the child. Sometimes, the examination results prove an unsafe environment for the child. Then, the DFCS accepts the custody of your child and provides a “foster care” for the child. The “foster care” is a temporary place provided for the child in a relative’s or in a stranger’s place. The examination is thoroughly done by the DFCS and it does not plainly take authority of your child only because you are not having a stable home or you are homeless.
Proofs which lead to foster care for the child by the DFCS
DFCS will place the child in “foster care” only when they feel the environment for the child’s upbringing is unsafe and also the parents have abandoned the child. The proof includes the following:
- Departing your child with another caregiver for many numbers of days without a proper plan and also without any note about the care to be given to your child.
- Departing your child with a caregiver who does not have good track records. Like, he has misbehaved with other children, is not in a position to feed the child or provide other basic necessities.
- Excessive material addiction with you towards drugs and alcohol creates an unsafe environment for your child.
- As a parent, if you are having a psychological ailment ignored which will, in turn, lead to an unsafe environment for your child.
- As a parent, if you are imprisoned and hospitalized and you do not have proper care planned for your child.
- As a parent, if you are involved in physically abusing your child or other’s children, then it will lead to an unsafe environment for your child.
- Abandoning your child alone at a young age to take care of themselves.
- As a parent, if you are not meeting the basic necessities of life for your child. Like, food, clothing, and accommodation.
Ultimately, if DFCS has come to a decision to take custody of your child and place them in “foster care”. Then, you as a parent should look out for alternative shelter for your children.
“Safety Plan” by DFCS and your co-ordination with the DFCS
During the examination of the case by the DFCS; if you have or do not have a stable place to stay with your children, then the DFCS will appoint your relative or other adult to stay with you and your child on a temporary basis. The DFCS comes with the “safety plan” strategy to take care of your child. The “safety plan” strategy ensures that you as a parent agree with the care given by the DFCS. If you as a parent agree with the “safety plan” then you can go ahead and sign the plan. If you as a parent do not agree with the DFCS generated safety plan, then there is no compulsion to sign the plan and you can voluntarily oppose the plan unless you have a better safe place ready for your child.
During the course of the examination, DFCS has to coordinate with you to provide a temporary care for your child. In this case, you can go ahead and sign the plan with the DFCS. But prior to signing the plan, you have to speak with the DFCS that the custody of your child is revoked once you as a parent is ready to take care of your child. The DFCS can seek protective custody from your direct relatives known as “God Parents” instead of placing them in a non-relative foster care. If the relative placements do not work, then the non-relative foster care has to be considered for your child’s well-being. But with the good strategy placed, you have your child back once you are in your good mental and physical state to take care of your child.
Working with Juvenile court
If the custody of your child is taken over in compulsion by the DFCS, then you can file a case in the Juvenile Court. As a parent, you have to be punctual to the court and stringently follow the court orders so that you do not lose your parental rights on your child permanently. Once you have a case filed in the Juvenile court, you can have an attorney hired and provide the attorney with all the evidence to reach out to the case as smoothly as possible.
It is important that you provide evidence to your attorney that would help him or her to place them to the judge. Like,
- Evidence from you which states that you have successfully completed parenting classes.
- Other evidence who have seen you provide good parenting care to your child.
- Evidence from social workers and therapists who stand for your support.
- Evidence like has a safe place and environment to stay with your child.
We need to take into our minds, that an agency or an adult can ask your child to be placed with a relative in a foster care. This happens if they have seen you abusing, or abandoning your child, and may ask for court surveillance of your child’s well-being. Under the surveillance of the court, if the court finds the allegations as true then they will place your child’s custody to a relative or to foster care. Until you have the parental rightsof your child, you can file a petition to the court asking for the return of the legal custody of your child.
Sometimes, a relative or a foster parent may file for the adoption of your child. This means that you as a parent have no parental authority on your child and the court provides complete parental authority to the concerned relative or to the foster parent.
Please read before you post your comment:
1. Do not use someone else’s name that has an open case with DFCS.
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3. If your comment is lengthy it may be shared as an article under the ‘Articles’ section.
4. If you are looking for legal advice for your case let us know that in your comment. At times, we partner with specialized DFCS law firms who may provide free or reasonably priced consultations.
We are always looking for new ways to help families and welcome all comments and suggestions. But, over time, the feedback we have received again and again is that the most valuable contributions actually come from you guys.
If you are able to, please share your own experience on our site so that others can benefit from what you are going through.
~ The DFCS Help Team