Children are placed in foster care when their parents cannot care for them or provide them with a safe home. Foster care differs from adoption in that foster care is only temporary. Also, a parent whose child is put in foster care does not necessarily lose his or her parental rights as they would with adoption. It is a short-term solution while arrangements are made for a child’s permanent placement. In many cases, parents can work with the Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCP&P) to make the changes necessary to have the children come back home safely. However, knowing when to comply with DCP&P’s requests, verses opposing those requests, requires unique skill and advocacy that most parents are unable to provide on their own.
The child can leave the foster care system once the DCP&P consents, or the court sees it appropriate, for the child to return home again. But the parent still has parental rights while the child is in foster care. One of these rights is the right to see the child while in foster placement. In fact, this is such an important right that the court and the DCP&P encourage parents to visit their children while they’re in foster care. This is your right, but you need to be proactive to exercise it. Make sure you are given a reasonable visitation schedule by the court or the DCP&P that you will be able to follow. And then follow the schedule as best you can.
You may be able to stay involved in your child’s life in other ways, too. For example, you can still ask to be involved in your child’s school events. You also retain the right to make important decisions regarding such issues as your child’s healthcare and education. Your child’s foster parents should be helping you stay involved in your child’s life. They have been given training in how to facilitate that. The ultimate goal for all parties involved is to have your child return home to you. This doesn’t always happen easily or quickly. Speak with a child welfare attorney if you are concerned about your parental rights. It is important you are able to visit your child and stay involved, but you may need an attorney to advise you of your right sand help you exercise them. The foster care system has its weaknesses. Sometimes children are in foster care longer than they have to be or their parents are not given all the chances to stay in contact that they deserve. A skilled child welfare attorney can help you defend your rights.
Navigating a child welfare case can be difficult, but the knowledgeable attorneys at the Williams Law Group, LLC have the experience needed to defend your rights as a parent and protect your child’s best interests. Located in Union, New Jersey, Williams Law Group, LLC provides compassionate and dedicated legal services to Union, Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Monmouth, and Middlesex counties, and the surrounding areas. Our knowledgeable attorneys handle divorce and family law, child custody, and child abuse/neglect cases. Call our office at (908) 810-1083, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact us through our confidential online form to schedule a consultation and ultimately get you connected with an experienced New Jersey divorce and child custody attorney.