What Rights Do I Have In A Child Welfare Case?

What Rights Do I Have In A Child Welfare Case? 

Child welfare in Oklahoma is part of Family Law, and the Family Court oversees cases involving children and child welfare. Parents who find themselves in a position to question the welfare of their children or who have been accused of child endangerment or other child welfare charges often wonder what their rights are. This blog goes over some of the common rights that parents have under child welfare statutes.

Parents Have The Right To Be Represented By A Lawyer

Oklahoma’s family law gives parents the right to be represented by a lawyer during any situation where child welfare is involved. If your child has been removed, you have the right to legal counsel. Even if you cannot afford a lawyer, one can be appointed to you during any emergency custody hearings.

Parental Rights After Your Child Is Removed From Your Care

You have the right to shape how your child is cared for even if you do not have custody of the child. For example, under Oklahoma law you have the right to determine what the religious beliefs of your child are. The foster family cannot change or impact the religious beliefs set in place by you. The same is true of cultural aspects. The court nor the foster family can change the cultural beliefs or practices imposed by you unless there is some risk to the child.

The Right To Govern And Be Involved In Your Child’s Education

Even if your child is in state custody in a pending deprived case, you still have  parental rights and you are still the child’s parent.  You have the right to be informed and involved in where your child goes to school, participation in teacher-parent conferences, etc. The degree by which you are involved may vary from one case to the next, but you should, at the very least, be informed about how the child is progressing in school or if a change in schools is needed, you should be part of that decision.

You Can Participate In Aspects Of Your Child’s Medical Care

According to Oklahoma State law, three entities can consent to certain medical care for a child placed in foster care. Those include:

  • You the Parents
  • DHS staff – Select people
  • The Judge

This will also vary depending on the details of the case.

You should be present to participate in medical decisions, when allowed.  Keep in mind that while your child is under the care of DHS your child will also have rights, such as not to share all medical conditions or treatment with you.

Owens Law Office Can Help Determine Your Rights In A Child Welfare Case

Your parental rights and the degree to which you can participate ranges from one case to the next. It will depend on your particular circumstances, which is why it’s critical to seek the help of a legal professional during this time. Contact one of our experienced attorneys at Owens Law Office to learn more about of your rights under child welfare laws.

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