All too often, I hear prospective clients tell me the social worker said, “The children cannot be placed outside our county.” And the most offered reason is that the other parent is in the middle of a family reunification plan, or some such other reasons that are too ridiculous and/or numerous to mention.
After I tell the client, that’s not true; I always get the next question: Then why does the social worker tell me that?
The reasons for that are varied and sometimes complex and intertwined. For example, some social workers give that advice because they don’t want to lose control of the case and the children. If the children are placed outside the County, they lose control. A social worker can only work as a social worker in her own County. She can’t cross county lines. Another social worker would have to be assigned if the child was placed in another county in California, or another state, or another Country.
A second reason for the social worker telling you this is because they may believe there is some funding issues. For example, if the children are transferred to another state that state will receive funding for the supervision and funding of the children, not your County. Now this may mean nothing to you, but it does mean something to your social worker and her supervisors
Another reason, and I find this astonishing, some workers really don’t know that children can be placed in another county, state or country. I once was in a meeting with a social worker and her attorney, and she seemed to be implying that her office never looked in to out of county placement because the amount of work required caused an office wide prohibition on these type of out of county placements.
The fact of the matter is, your children, if not returned to you at any hearing, and if you wish, can be placed with relatives or close family friends in another County, State or even a foreign country. It’s the law!
Let’s say your children were taken away from you, and you lived in Los Angeles County. Your children could be placed with relatives in Riverside County or anywhere else in the State of California. In the law it’s called an Intra State transfer.
Let’s say your children were taken away from you, and you lived in San Bernardino County. Your children can be placed with Aunt Rachel in New York, or any other state in these United States of America. All of the States in the Union are participants in a national law referred to as the Interstate Compact For the Placement of Children.
Let’s say your children were taken away from you, and you lived in Ventura County. Your children can be placed with Aunt Ruby in Mexico City, Mexico, or any other country that is part of the Hague Convention, an International Treaty (international law) where most of the world are signatories to and participants in the international placement of children.
These intrastate, interstate and international placements of children are not guaranteed. There is a lot more involved and with increasing difficulty as you progress from intrastate to international placements. The purpose of this was not to take you through all of the legal requirements, but to alert you to the issues and possibilities.
If you like an in depth consultation, or representation in this area, please contact me directly. 888 888 6585.
Vincent W Davis, Esq.