Adoption Q&A #10
If a foster parent has had a child in placement for a long time, is there anything the foster parent can do if social services gives notice of its intent to remove the child and place the child with another family or with a birth parent?
Yes. Under Sec. 48.64, Stats., if a child has been in placement with the foster family for more than six months, the county social services unit is required to give notice of its intent to remove the child from the foster home. Once the notice has been received, the foster family has ten days to object to removal. Once the objection is filed, foster parents can request an administrative hearing or a court hearing on the subject of removal. They are entitled to present evidence to the hearing examiner or judge supporting their position that the child should not be removed. Although it may be difficult to overcome the testimony presented by social service department witnesses, foster parents have prevailed in removal cases and ended up adopting or serving as guardians for children in their care. It is essential to act on a timely basis to preserve foster parents’ rights when removal is threatened.