Sometimes foster parents are faced with the closing of their foster care home based upon allegations they may disagree with. Foster parent’s develop a bond with their foster children, and the removal of their foster kids can be traumatizing to the the foster parent and the children. Many people ask me, a Brooklyn based New York City ACS Attorney what they can do if their foster kids are removed?
In New York City a foster parent has a few options when a removal occurs. The first thing that happens after a removal, is that the parent will receive a Notice of Removal from a Foster Home. This form contains the name of the parent from whom the children were removed, the name of the foster care agency removing the children, the agency case planner responsible for the removal and the date the notice of removal was issued. You must receive this form. This form also contains the rights a foster parent has to dispute the removal.
If the Foster Care Agency is threatening you with removal of the foster children, you have the right to an agency conference to contest the removal. As a Brooklyn, New York City ACS Lawyer I can represent you at this conference. Generally speaking, the agency just removes the children with very little prior notice not giving a foster parent enough time to request this conference.
After the children are removed you can request an independent review within 10 days of the date you receive the notice of removal. If you don’t submit it within this time your request may be denied. You may bring your representative to an independent review. Your foster care agency case planner will attend the conference. The child’s lawyer lawyer may attend a conference or present a position in writing that will be shared at the conference. At the conference you may discuss the reason for the removal, state why children shouldn’t be removed or should not have been removed, and have the action reviewed. Unless removed on an emergency basis, the children will not be removed until at least three days after a decision is sent to you, or until the date of the proposed removal, if it occurs later. As a Brooklyn, New York City ACS lawyer, my experience is that children are generally removed on an emergency basis.
You can also request a fair hearing. You must request a fair hearing within 60 days of the date of the notice of removal or the request may be denied. You can request this fair hearing whether or not you request a foster care agency conference or independent review. The independent review is not a fair hearing and requesting one does not prevent you from also requesting a fair hearing. However, the children may be removed from your home following the decision of the independent reviewer. If you do not request an independent review or the decision of the independent review upholds the removal, the children may be removed from your home on or after the proposed removal date before the fair hearing is held. As an attorney, I have successfully done multiple fair hearings and can request a hearing for you.
If you request a fair hearing, you have a right to examine your case record to the extent that the case record is not confidential. You can request copies of any part of the case record that you wish to present at the hearing, at no cost to you. At the fair hearing, you have the right to be represented by an attorney, by a friend or relative or you may represent yourself. You have the right to bring witnesses, to ask questions, and to present written and oral evidence.
If your foster kids were removed from your home, please call me immediately, a Brooklyn ACS Attorney at 718 864 2011.