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In the Juvenile Dependency system, foster parents are the unsung heroes.  They open their homes and take care of children that may not be wanted elsewhere.  They may be scrutinized and criticized but typically do not have legal representation to defend themselves.

As a foster parent, you should know some of the basic rights you have:

Grievance Hearings: A grievance hearing is essentially a “mini-trial” conducted by an unbiased CPS employee in an office setting.

There are five common types of grievance hearings that the county child protective services agency should inform foster parents of:

  1. CACI Hearing – CACI stands for Child Abuse Central Index.  See my other blog posts about the CACI.
  2. Adoption Homestudy Denials – If you receive a letter saying your homestudy is denied, per State regulations, it should be accompanied by a notice of your grievance rights with instructions on how to request a hearing.
  3. Seven Days Notice of Removal – Subject to a few exceptions, if a foster child is being removed from your home in a non-emergency situation, you are entitled to Seven Days notice in writing.  The notice should be accompanied by written notification of your grievance rights and instructions on how to request a grievance. Importantly, the subject child is NOT to be removed from your home pending the grievance hearing.
  4. ASFA Denial State Hearing – An ASFA denial typically occurs when there is a deficiency in your physical home that fails to meet the federal guidelines.  In that scenario, you are to be notified of your grievance rights and the grievance hearing is held before a State administrative law judge.
  5. Administrative Review Conference – If you are a State licensed foster parent and you are told that there has been a “hold” placed on your home, the local child protective service agency may offer to give you this type of grievance hearing, often referred to by the above title.

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