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What happens when a child is taken by social services?
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What happens when a child is taken by social services?

My cousin got his son taken away by social services because him and his girlfriend were doing drugs and lots of bad things that I do not support. We feel bad for the kid, he is the same age as our son and has many people who love and care for him and now he has been taken away. What happens? Do they give family, like the child's grandparents an option to adopt him or do they just put them in foster care? He is our cousin by marriage, but they got divorced, if nobody else could afford to take him in, could we or would we have to go adopt him from foster care? Any information would help. He is only 16 months old.


John R
Investigation, foster home?

generally they will be counselled,put into rehab if thats the case and will be in a foster home. then depending on the available people outside of the dangerous influencing family, if they have family that are screened and CRB checked and are fine for them to be looked after by then thats where they go, if there arent then they will be put up for adoption dependednt of their age

If the child was recently removed, adoption is not in the picture. When a child is removed the parents are offered reunification services, as the goal is for the parents to learn how to safely parent the child. This is only not offered in cases where there is horrible abuse (shaken baby, death of a sibling, etc) or if the parents are both incarcerated for many years. That doesn't sound like your cousin's situation so he and the mother should be offered services. They will be given a case plan, outlining everything they need to do to regain custody of the children.

Placement is another matter. The best place for children is with family. So if there is family available that will be the placement. However, the family must pass all the necessary background checks and be willing to follow the CPS guidelines (such as supervised visits with the parents, not allowing contact if ordered, transporting child to therapy/doctor/school/etc). But - the most important indicator of a successful reunification is visitation. If the family members live in a different county or state they will likely not be looked at for placement during the reunification portion of the case, as the parents should be visiting the children at least 2-3 times a week. If the parents then fail to reunify and adoption becomes in the child's best interest, relatives are evaluated even if they live out of the area.

Morales Familee
they should give the family the option to take custody of him before placing him in foster care, that is always the last resort if there is no family. but your family needs to make it known they want him since they might not know he has family.

Foster Care--they will sent them to an emergency house then maybe a foster home until a family member steps up.
Adoption dont come up yet, its foster care (emergency care).
You can step up and go throught the paper work and background checks to get custody of him. And if the family members are suspected of harming the child, the child will stay in the foster care until a family member is clear from all checks. I've seen it happen toooo much!!

Every state handles these situations differently. Theoretically, the CPS/DHS/social worker, should have the courts order BOTH parents to provide a list of potential "kinship" placement options. Kinship does not always mean a family member by blood, it can simple be a close family friend. The worker should begin with a background check, criminal and through CPS/DHS to see if they have any history with the department or any criminal history. If no history, then a full home study would need to be done. If you are in the same state, that is great, it will greatly speed up the process. The home study is a very in depth and invasive process, so you'd better be sure this is what you want to do! If the home study is approved, the child should be placed with a relative or kinship placement. If there is no viable kinship placement available, the child would remain in foster care. The parents would be given a treatment plan and if they successfully complete the treatment plan, they would be reunified with the children. If not, then adoption may be the only other option.

First they will ask the child's parents if there is anyone in their family who might be able to take the child.Sometimes the parents give the worker a couple of names and sometimes they tell her not to put their kid with any of the relatives. I have personally known it to happen both ways. Several different workers will start calling their foster parents;whom they all know; to see if they are interested in taking another placement. Next the child is seen by a doctor---generally at the local hospital to make certain the child has no medical problems they need treated for and to check the baby for burns and bruises and broken bones. They turn up quite frequently. This is supposed to be an unclothed exam. But they don't always do that. I once took a teen to a hospital to be checked for bruises before placing her but they didn't examine her. I made certain I told the foster parents this and noted it in my casenotes that evening.
This is just foster care---adoption is not part of the picture at this time. A service plan will be drawn up for the family and may include---drug counseling, drug rehab, parenting classes. As time goes on they will be drug testing them. The house will need to be cleaned up. If they are not working they will be looking for work.
So for you---call the agency and ask to speak to little "Joey's" caseworker. If not in leave a message and your phone number. Be diligent about calling til you hear from the worker. They are very busy with other cases too.
If they hope to get their child back they will cooperate with their worker and the court--if not they will end up losing him.All kids entering care have a "return home goal."and many end up getting that goal changed 6---12 months down the road. Good luck to you.

mom of 3
well the same thing happened to my aunt and if u want him u need to call his social worker and set a apt to get finger printed and they wil have to check ur house and make sure u are able to take care of him. but he will go to foster care and his parent will have to go to classes and prove they are changing there life Style, i believe they get 6 months and then they will have court, if they are still not fit them then there son will be put up for adoption. so if u are interested then u should find out who his social worker is and see what u have to do.

Contact Social Services. They are usually happier to place the child in kinship care than with strangers UNLESS they believe that the whole family contributes to the drug problem. Even if he is a cousin by marriage, give it a shot. The baby is better off with family that knows him than complete strangers.

they will first try to get a grandparent or family member to take him if no one in the family can take him than he will go to foster care and possibly be adopted by strangers

It depends on the State and County but usually they try to place the child with a relative. That person becomes an "emergency" foster parent. They interview you, inspect your house and such, but the process is an expedited version of what one would go through to become a foster parent. The family takes care of the child while the parent does what is necessary for reconciliation. In my State, (california) parents are given 18 months minimum to regain their children. Sometimes they undergo drug treatment, counseling, parenting classes AND they are granted regular visitation. They also are required to go to court for regular review. At this time the judge assesses the progress of the parents as well as the well-being of the child. The main thrust though is reconciliation and the "foster" parents be they related or not, are asked to contribute to this process by arranging regular visits and contact etc..

If the parents do not change their lives and prove to the courts that they are "clean" the courts may take away parental rights and the foster parents may be granted permanent custody or may adopt the child.

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