Having your child placed into foster care can raise many concerns. Chief among these is whether your child will be safe. Although the state only places a child foster care when the agency believes parent cannot provide a safe environment, it is not at all uncommon for children to be mistreated while in foster care. While the child welfare system is working to strengthen accountability, children aren’t necessarily closely monitored once in the care of a family. For a parent whose child has been taken away, finding out that child is not safe in foster care is doubly injurious.
If you have concerns about your child’s safety in foster care, here are a few things you should know about the foster care system:
Foster parents are screened and must be licensed. Even if your child is placed with relatives, those relatives must become licensed for your child to remain living with them.
Potential foster parents must meet several requirements, but providing the child with a safe home is the most important. They will receive training to provide the minimum care required for foster children. They will also undergo criminal background checks, child abuse registry checks, as well as a home inspection.
You do have rights as a parent with a child in foster care. You can ask for visitation with your child and to be able to contact your child. Stay involved as best you can. This can help your child adjust to the new situation and also give you a chance to stay informed of your child’s well being while in foster care.
Remember: foster care is only meant to be temporary. The Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCP&P) recognizes long-term placement in foster care is inappropriate for a growing child. Children need some permanency in their lives to thrive, and foster care alone cannot provide that. Accordingly, the DCP&P should be working closely with you to make your home a safe place so your child can come back. If you don’t feel like that effort is being made, you should speak with a New Jersey child welfare attorney. You deserve to have the opportunity to bring your child back as soon as possible. You may need an advocate on your side to get through this process in a reasonable amount of time, and an attorney can help you do this.
Do you have questions about foster care? The attorneys at the Williams Law Group, LLC know how important your child’s safety is and will help you work with the DCP&P to make sure your child is safe at all times. 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 so you can work with an experienced New Jersey divorce and child custody attorney.