As a parent, you may understandably struggle with the number of responsibilities you face. Though you want to do right by your child, you may feel overwhelmed. Still, you would never intentionally do anything to hurt your child or put his or her well-being at risk.
Unfortunately, others may question your ability to act as a fit parent and wonder whether your child is suffering more harm than good while being in your care. In some instances, individuals may file a report with the Indiana Department of Child Services, which could result in the involuntary removal of your child from your home.
When could this happen?
Before DCS will remove a child from the parental or custodial home, a court order is typically necessary. However, DCS could act immediately in the event of an emergency in which agents believe that the immediate health and safety of the child is at risk. Three instances that could warrant removal include the following:
- The child's physical or mental state is seriously at risk or impaired as a result of inability or neglect of the parent to provide basic necessities, like food, education, medical care, clothing, shelter or supervision.
- A reasonable person believes that the child is experiencing negative physical or mental effects due to suffering injuries as the result of a parent's actions or neglect.
- The intervention of the court is necessary for the protection of the child.
If DCS believes that it is necessary to remove your child from your home, you may understandably feel panicked.
What happens to your child?
If DCS does not remove your child under emergency circumstances, it may help prepare your child for removal by talking about the feelings associated with the situation and any concerns he or she may have. Your child may also be able to take familiar objects with him or her in efforts to feel more comfortable. Typically, removal from a parental or custodial home results in a child's placement in foster care.
What can you do?
If you do face an involuntary removal of your child, you do not have to feel as if you will never see your child again. You, as the parent, have legal options for fighting for the return of your child. It may be in your best interests to gain information on your legal options relating to this type of situation, and working with an attorney may be wise.