Know Your Rights and Responsibilities in a Child Welfare Court Case

3년 전

Hello friends, how are you all? As I informed you in an earlier post, I will occasionally give well-researched information in regards to family protection. Now, no one expects that their life will be completely turned upside down by a single court ruling, but it happens. It is therefore wise to familiarize yourself with your rights and responsibilities just in case you or a loved one ever find themselves in such a predicament.


So, a child protection agency feels they have probable cause to cry unfit parent after visiting your home and just like that, you risk losing your child or children for good. What next? In general, child welfare court proceedings move fast. And during the initial court dates, important decisions like where your child will live in the meantime are made.

What are your rights in such a legal proceeding?

For starters, both mother and father have equal rights to:

  1. Receive notices before ALL court hearings.
  2. Challenge/contest allegations by getting an opportunity to either accept or deny the charges made against you.
  3. Full court participation including court attendance and being heard in each court hearing. The court should provide any assistance needed in ensuring your feedback is meaningful. For instance, the need for a translator or an interpreter.
  4. Legal representation to fight for your interests and protect your rights. Depending on where you are, the government may provide a free lawyer especially if you cannot afford one and if they are looking to terminate your parental rights.
  5. A fair trial this means that your case should be listened to by an unbiased judge.
  6. And most importantly, you have a right to continued contact with your child throughout the court proceedings.


What do I do if my rights are not respected?

In such scenarios, notify the judge during the next hearing and request an order requiring the Child Protection agency and any other guilty parties to uphold your rights. Additionally, if you feel the judge is biased maybe because of a previous running you had with him/her, let the court's administrative officers know. They will inform you on how, if the judge can be substituted.


You also have a responsibility to ensure the case runs smoothly from your end. Here are some of your roles:

  1. If the court permits, visit and, or call your child as often as possible and ask if your loved ones could tag along. Such regular contact with you will help your kids through this trying process. Ensure your visits are consistent, on time and let your child and the caseworker know in advance if you can't make it for a visit. However, try not to miss any visits/calls as they can be used to build the case against you.

  2. Similarly, don't miss out on case hearings and in case you can't attend any, let the lawyer know beforehand. Also, find out whether the court can reschedule or if you can participate via phone or other communication means.

  3. Follow all the court orders but ensure you speak out if you cannot meet an order given maybe due to financial strains. Sharing your concerns may change the judge's mind.

  4. Ensure you're in constant communication with both your lawyer and caseworker as you will understand the legal proceedings better.

  5. If any, complete the case plan tasks assigned to you by a caseworker. You and your lawyer should be present during the creation of such a plan. Read and ensure you understand, if there's a task you cannot do, ensure it's changed. The agency should pay for any services you need in the completion of the plan or at least help you find free/cheap services.

In general, try not to break down amidst all the chaos, your child needs you to be strong now more than ever. You also need support so don't isolate yourself, confide in your family and friends it will help you remain sane. And guys, if you find a family protection article helpful, share it! Let's reach more people that need to know they are not alone and that we care!


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Thank-you @janna.bright for submitting this post with the #familyprotection tag. It has been UPVOTED by @familyprotection and RESTEEMED TO OUR Community Supporters.

"Child Protection Agencies" are taking children away from their loving families.

(If you feel that our community has brought more rewards and attention to this post, please consider contributing a portion of those rewards back to our cause.)

Now, no one expects that their life will be completely turned upside down by a single court ruling, but it happens.

Let's not forget that this begins with getting served legal paperwork of some sort. Usually when first served you're trying to be positive and believing for a hopeful and positive resolution.

No one expects their life to be turned upside down through the financial losses incurred by having to go through these processes. If you don't, you're automatically agreeing by your silence to any and all false accusations made against you. If you do go through the processes (because you love your children), then you do so expecting the courts and CPS will listen and accept common sense -- or even better -- actual proof that the accusations against you are false.

When you learn by going through this process, they don't, you're left not only finding yourself financially drained, but mentally left in shreds as well. The feeling of betrayal and the shock that you're feeling that the system that is supposed to listen to common sense, not allow you to be financially drained (that would be in the best interest of your child!) and actually accept proof -- doesn't, is called moral injury.

It's a clinical term.

And think about this: Why should you have to ask the court for an order to have your rights upheld? Aren't they guaranteed to you by law? If that is true (and we can see in black and white in the statutes that this is true), then why aren't the people who are violating your rights being punished automatically by the judges who are supposed to be upholding the law? Why does the system make you file more paperwork, spend more money out of your own pocket just to have your complaint about an obviously proven violation of your rights to be heard?

Just think about that.

I always appreciate people taking the time to help others through this process.

But what I personally find is that the much larger issue is the system itself.

  • Listen to the truth
  • Enforce the laws you're sworn to uphold
  • Stop abusing the loopholes to line your own pockets
  • Actually fight for the kids you're supposed to be protecting

START DOING THE RIGHT THING and people will start to trust in the system again.

I hit the comment button too fast.

To the tips you mentioned here, I would add get a therapist, keep a journal, take comfort in any scriptures you may believe in, surround yourself with a support network of people who believe you (not people who make excuses for the other party involved--those people are called "enablers" and won't help you in the long run), and above all, practice self care after keeping your commitments to your kids, the courts and to your job.


Agree with your valuable input @miklkent Do you think the therapist part is really a MUST? Sometimes even a fact of seeing a specialist may add extra stress to parents...
Self care is really important though in such situations


If it goes on long enough, yeah a therapist can help. I know the last time I got served, the paperwork was so botched, I could see how long it was going to take. You need a non-biased third party to help you sometimes process it all so you can stay sane. I consider a therapist part of self-care. Just another tool to fight with.

@janna.bright, thank you for the article! This information is very important! every person to know this in order to be able to protect themselves and their children!


Thanks. I am glad that it could help to someone out there facing the problem

This post was upvoted and resteemed by @thethreehugs. thank for your support of @familyprotection!


You are most welcome!

Thank you for the information. I'm very afraid to face it. I think juvenile justice not only helps protect children, but also destroys families.


Yes, you could check the articles under #familyprotection tag. Many issues raised there

thanks for the information but the problem of all this lies in that normally they refuse to give warnings, they refuse to let us see the charges and the process is carried out by irregularities


Agree with you @marynes5 This is a common practice unfortunately...

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The problem with this is that many times they have everything planned, in reality in most cases they are the ones who have more possibilities but because of corruption.