How do Kids go into Foster Care?
Ever wondered about the process of children entering the foster care system? Does one call get a child removed to a foster home?
Anyone can make a call to child protective services. That does not mean that the child will automatically be taken into foster care. An investigation occurs before kids are taken into foster care. Is it a difficult process?
First It begins with a referral to the local department of child protective services. In our area, there is a hotline for our entire state. It is anonymous. After the state phone referral goes through, the hotline delivers it to the appropriate county or local state agency. Next, the process consists of an interview or several interviews by an "investigator". This could take a while depending on the caseload of the county.
Besides the "investigator determining if the referral is valid, he or she (plus their supervisor) must finally decide if the child should be taken from the home is appropriate. Does the child or children need to be taken immediately? Are they in grave danger? Are there other options that can be implemented at this point? Several people from the local agency are involved in the decision. A judge is ultimately involved, but that comes later. Find out more from the video below:
I've heard stories of people calling in referrals when there is no real concern, but for vindication on a particular family or person. Perhaps a neighbor is mad at a family, so they call in a made-up allegation. This is not right! I've heard of ex-spouses doing this same thing to get back at the other parent. Shameful. Because getting a Child Protective Service referral and investigation is stressful. It jams up the foster care system with non-valid complaints. It ties up funding and time for the children that really need the investigation, where abuse is really happening and children are not safe. PLEASE DO NOT make referrals based upon revenge.
AND.... How do I know a referral is stressful? It has happened to me.
Yes, I got a knock on the door, an investigation, and a lot of stress. My kids were interviewed without me. They went into the next room alone to talk with the social worker/investigator. I was left unprepared. We were scared they would take my kids because I had no idea what the referral said, who made it, what the process was, or my rights as a foster parent or a regular parent. Consequently, I was in the dark - ignorant of the process!
How do kids go into foster care? I'm thankful that it is a process and not a whim.
Why would someone make a referral on a foster family that was trying their literal best in every area to be parents to these little strangers? Later, I hope to get to the point where I can explain that very thing. Hence, I can also share what to do if "they" come to your door. For now, you can read this link: http://www.risemagazine.org/2017/01/your-rights-during-an-investigation/
Your experiences, please.
Do you have any experience in the referral process? Do you have any experience in the interview? Please comment with any questions. Comment with any experiences.
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