A child may be removed from a household if they are abused, either sexually or physically, or neglected. The child may be neglected in that they are not provided with their basic needs such as food, shelter, and emotional stability. The goal for the foster child is that the child be cared for by capable foster parents for a temporary period of time. That period of time may range anywhere from days to weeks to months. In some cases, the period may range for more than one year.
Rights of a Foster Children
A foster child has many rights while in a foster care setting. The foster child does not relinquish her rights upon arrival of the foster home. Some of the rights that a foster child possesses, if not prohibited by statute or by a judge, are:
- The right to contact their siblings.
- The right to contact their parents and other family members.
- The right to access the courts. Foster children may speak directly with a judge and obtain a copy of a case plan or placement information.
- The rights to access medical or dental care. Such care is paid for by Medicaid.
- The right to attend school everyday.
- The right to practice religious beliefs.
- The right to contact social workers or other agency personnel at any time during their stay with the foster family.
Removal of a Foster Child from Foster Care
Removal of a foster child from foster care usually occurs in one of two instances. Either when the parents or guardians of the child are capable of handling the child again or when the foster care situation has become unworkable or undesirable. Sometimes foster parents become abusive or neglectful. State agencies attempt to watch over foster care settings but it is difficult with limited state resources and the number of foster care arrangements that exist. A foster child may report any abuse or neglect to their caseworker.
Although the ultimate goal of foster care is to reunite the child with her parent or guardian, if that goal is unattainable the foster parents may seek to adopt the foster child. Depending upon the state procedures, the foster parents will be required to file a petition for adoption and go through the usual adoption proceedings will be required.
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