South Bend, IN asked in Family Law, Civil Rights, Juvenile Law and Probate for Indiana

Q: Is it a violation of me/mychild rights when a caseworker remove child from one placement to another without court order?

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: Removing a child from one placement to another without a court order could potentially be a violation of the child's and the parent's rights, depending on the specific circumstances of the case. Child welfare agencies and caseworkers are generally required to follow due process and obtain proper legal authority when making decisions about a child's placement.

Here are some key points to consider:

1. Reasonable efforts: The agency should make reasonable efforts to keep the child in their current placement unless there is a compelling reason to remove them, such as imminent risk of harm.

2. Court oversight: Significant changes in a child's placement typically require court approval. The court should be informed of the reasons for the proposed change and have an opportunity to review the decision.

3. Notice and opportunity to be heard: Parents and other parties to the case should be notified of any planned placement changes and have the right to challenge the decision in court.

4. Best interests of the child: While the child's best interests are paramount, the agency must balance this with the child's and family's rights and follow proper legal procedures.

If you believe that your rights or your child's rights have been violated by a caseworker's actions, you should:

1. Document the situation: Keep detailed records of all interactions with the caseworker and the agency, including dates, times, and the content of conversations.

2. Consult with an attorney: Speak with a family law attorney who specializes in child welfare cases. They can review your case and advise you on the best course of action.

3. File a complaint: You may need to file a complaint with the agency's supervisor, the state's child welfare ombudsman, or the court overseeing your case.

4. Advocate for your rights: Work with your attorney to ensure that your rights and your child's rights are protected throughout the legal process.

Remember, child welfare cases can be complex, and the specific actions you should take will depend on the unique circumstances of your situation. Seeking the advice of an experienced attorney is crucial in protecting your rights and advocating for your child's best interests.

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