Standing in the shadow of doubt!
Allegations! Part 2 of 4.
We are talking about Allegations; a word that strikes terror in the hearts of foster parents across the nation, left “standing in a shadow of doubt” accused of harming a child in our care. This situation is devastating to our emotional well-being, reputations, our integrity both as foster parents, and as loving citizens.
- In part 1, we made a statement; we would like to reiterate that statement now, “many, foster parents still believe that the close relationship between them and their social worker will somehow intervene, stop this procedure from taking place. Someone has anonymously reported child abuse, a child harmed, and an investigation is required.
Always keep in the back of your mind that biological parents are sometimes falsely accused just as you are, therefore, the following statements may be applicable to all parents.
Now let us continue, the hardest part of an allegation is waiting as it may be weeks before you know anything. You will not know where your foster children are, or what the allegation entails. While a foster parent is under investigation, they are not aware of anything. You will more than likely hear from many people involved in your life, neighbors, relatives, school officials, and even your children that they were interviewed, questioned by CPS investigators.
- Eventually you will receive the investigative report in the mail letting you know the outcome of the investigation. Depending on your states terminology you will be determined; founded or unfounded, substantiated or unsubstantiated, indicated or un-indicated.
When you know that you are being investigated this is the time for you to go to work “be ready to give an answer”. What do we mean by that? For all practical purposes, you are,” guilty until proven innocent”. Oh, I know what your thinking, what happened to Innocent until proven guilty”. Your about to learn “Lady Justice” wears a price tag on her sleeve as you discover is attorneys are expensive. Now faced with the decision as to what kind of lawyer you retain.
- Interviewing attorneys; always a challenge but let us assume that you have located the right one to handle your case, someone you feel comfortable with, and you think you can work with. Now you start trying to explain. Where do you start?
- Discovery; like any topic if you do not entirely understand your case it is not easy to explain to someone else. You see, your lawyer will rely on you to provide information he/she needs to defend you, no information, no defense, your fault.
As we stated before when you know you are under investigation, as in when your foster child (ren) is/are removed you need to go to work immediately. Begin educating yourself, take a crash course in “Administrative Law”, gather information, i.e.; print off your state statutes pertaining to foster parents, review and become thoroughly familiar with these laws.
The nightmare continues. Help is available nfpcar, fpls, “Standing in The Shadow of Law”.