Keeping Your Family Strong--Even Through Divorce

What If Your Child Is Removed By The State?

by Kristen Wright

As a parent, you have rights even if a state agency temporarily takes custody of your child. State agencies, such as child protective services, will intervene if there is a belief that the child is in danger. Fortunately, for most parents, there is a path to regaining custody of their children. If your child has been removed from your home by the state, here is what you need to know.

Why Was Your Child Removed?

The first step to regaining custody of your child is learning why he or she was taken from your home. There are several factors that could trigger a state response, including suspected child abuse. The state is usually alerted by another person who has had some interaction with the child, such as a teacher, family member, or neighbor.

There is also the possibility that your child could be removed after police are called to your home to investigate an incident. For instance, if police officers believe the home is in poor condition, they can ask child protective services to investigate.

Depending on the circumstances, you might not find out the exact reason for the removal of your child at the time it occurs. If not, you will be provided with contact information to discuss the case with a social worker who will oversee the investigation.

What Can You Do?

Once you have found out the reason for the removal, you need to focus on working with child protective services and following the outlined planned to regain custody. The actions required by the state will vary based on the circumstances. For instance, if you have a drug addiction, you might be required to attend a drug treatment program.

While working with child protective services, it is important that you remember that you are being scrutinized. Therefore, you need to avoid arguing with the agency officials and displays of anger.

You also need to save all documentation that you receive from the agency. Keep detailed notes of interactions that you have, including phone calls and in-person discussions.

If there was a specific incident that triggered the investigation, you need to present evidence that explains what happened and that can help dispute the accusation that your child was somehow endangered.

Your family law attorney, such as Marlene Dancer Adams, can help you find other ways to prove your child should be returned to you. Get an attorney involved in your case as soon as possible to potentially expedite the processing of your case.