Foster Parents may have certain rights in the relationship, custody and visitation of a foster child. They may not have the same rights that a parent has, or a relative. But they do indeed have rights. Many times I’m confronted with foster parents who have been told by a county social worker that they do not have rights, and that is simply not true.
Generally, the foster parent may be losing the foster child, because the social worker has decided to move the child to another foster home. This may be able to be stopped.
Or, the foster parent may be losing the child, because the social worker has decided to move the child to a blood relative. This may be able to be stopped.
Or, the foster parent may be losing the child, because the social worker has decided to return the child to a parent.
The key things that the foster parent must file are:
- De Facto Motion
- 388 petition
- 827 petition
- Petitions for legal guardianship, both temporary and permanent.
But it should be noted that the filing of these documents is about 40 percent of the work; and not even the most important part. The most important part for this to be successful is the representation you receive at the hearings or mini trials for these proceedings.
Sometimes concurrently with this, the State of California initiates administrative court proceedings to discipline a foster parent, or to revoke the foster parents’ license or certification. These proceedings are not in the Juvenile Court, but in the Office of Administrative Hearings, located around the state.
These hearings are special administrative hearings, and are usually prosecuted by the State Attorney General’s Office, and/or the State Community Licensing Department’s Legal Department. I recommend that you not try to represent yourself; there are special rules of procedure and evidence which can apply to these proceedings.
Please call me for a consultation regarding your foster care situation. 888 888 6582.