Rights and Responsibilities

Parents whose children have been removed have both rights and responsibilities with respect to their child. Below is a summary of some of the most important rights and responsibilities.

I have the right to…

  • Know why my child was removed and what needs to happen for them to be returned.
  • Have an attorney who represents my rights and interests in court.
  • Have my child placed with a relative if a relative can care for my child safely.
  • Know where my child is placed and have frequent, meaningful interactions with my child.
  • Know that efforts are going to be made to place my child in close proximity to my home and to allow my child to continue in their same school.
  • Be consulted and make decisions on my child’s religion, health care and education and participate in my child’s care as agreed upon.
  • Request a Parent Partner when available and appropriate so that I may be supported by someone who has walked in my shoes.
  • Be informed of services my child receives and medical emergencies my child may have.
  • Expect that my child is safe in their placement and that his/her needs are met.
  • Have my child returned home after conditions required by the court and the case permanency plan has been met.
  • File for an appeal against the following: child abuse report determination, termination of parental rights, Child in Need of Assistance, or removal of my child.
  • Have information about me and my family kept confidential, unless I agree to share it.


I have the responsibility to…

  • Meet with and stay in contact with my social worker, report any changes to phone number or address, participate in creating my family’s and my child’s case permanency plan, keep appointments and make agreed upon changes.
  • Request financial assistance if I can’t afford an attorney, discuss the petition with my attorney and stay in contact with my attorney.
  • Provide my social worker with names of relatives who may care for my child.
  • Develop a family interaction plan and communicate with my child on a regular basis.
  • Keep my child’s best interest at heart and to try to see things from my child’s perspective.
  • Attend medical appointments and school meetings for my child, share important information about my child’s needs and contribute to the financial support of my child as determined by the court.
  • Engage, participate and follow through with peer support and the Parent Partner Program.
  • Ask about upcoming appointments that my child may have.
  • Communicate any concerns I have to the social worker and my attorney.
  • Inform DHS, my attorney and the court if DHS has not provided me with the services listed in my case permanency plan, or if there are additional services I need.
  • Stay in contact with my social worker and my attorney.
  • Give permission for release of information necessary for my child’s health and welfare.