Foster Parent Representation
Foster parents are a critical part of the child welfare system, yet they are underappreciated. Foster parents take abused and traumatized children and give them a family life while their parents are in a bad situation. In Wisconsin, foster parents have the right to object when the agency changes the foster child’s placement. This is a hard decision to make, because exercising that right can result in the agency responding by revoking a foster parent’s license.
If you are a foster parent and believe that you have been treated unfairly, you may have legal rights. If your license was revoked, you have a due process right to challenge that revocation to make sure that the agency followed the rules. If a child was removed from your care, you have the right to challenge the removal. You may not get that child placed back in your care, but you could get your record cleared./p>
Sometimes you just want information about how the system works, and you need to consult a legal expert about that. Contact attorney Lori Kornblum for help with any of those things.
A Real World Example
This is a real case, with real clients, and shows what you can do to protect your own reputation as foster parents when you have an experienced attorney helping you.
A family had several children in foster care, which the foster care agency placed with them. In addition to their own four children, all under age eight, they had three children placed under the age of two. All three of the infants had special needs. Understandably, folding laundry was not the number one priority.
After an unannounced visit, the three foster children were removed due to a messy home. After the clients filed an objection to a Change of Placement, the foster care agency (which was the same agency as the care management agency) revoked their foster care license.
We went to a full due process hearing and prevailed! Unfortunately, the children were not returned, because the ALJ in the due process hearing has no power to return the children. But the ALJ determined that the agency not only had no reason for removing the children, but also had no reason for revoking the foster care license. The ALJ ordered the Department to reinstate the foster care license. Unfortunately, an ALJ cannot order the Department to return the children. However, the clients are now happily licensed with a different agency.
In addition to affirming the foster parents’ position, clearing their record and reinstating their license, the ALJ also awarded attorneys’ fees for the costs of litigation.