Especially where children are concerned, the consequences of losing legal custody can be far worse than anyone is prepared to accept. In situations like these, it is to a foster parent’s advantage to have an attorney on hand, both as a spokesperson and a guide to navigating the complex and often confusing avenues of child welfare law.
Perhaps you were hoping to adopt a child you had taken into your home when a long-lost relative came forward, or you are concerned about child welfare services placing your foster child into a new home against your own good judgment. Or, a minor policy violation recorded during a home inspection gets substantiated into charges of abuse. The task of pushing back against government agencies can appear impossible, but with an attorney’s help, you have a better opportunity to have your case heard, and can spare yourself the hardship of losing the ability to care for your foster child.
Foster parents who are appropriately assertive with their cases are more likely to be fully heard. To that end, documenting everything concerning a foster child is the most useful thing that foster parents can do to reinforce a case. Keep a detailed daily journal – the more information, the better – and make sure your attorney has a copy of every document.
Above all, a foster parent must remember that the child’s welfare is the most important issue in any custody case. It is a foster parent’s duty to advocate for the child, and an experienced and knowledgeable attorney can prove essential to turning a tumultuous childhood into a bright and promising future.
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