What are my Rights?
Most importantly, you have the right to understand the local C.S.A. process:
- you have the right to receive information on the local C.S.A. process and timelines for receiving referrals
- you have the right to be notified before your child is assessed for offered services
- you have a right to understand the information that you receive and delivered in your native language, if possible
- you have the right to consent and agree in writing before beginning any services, except when ordered by the court
- you have the right to read records, challenge information, give permission for release of records and be provided a written copy of the records unless ordered otherwise by the court
- you have the right to assistance from someone assigned to you as the Case Manager from the F.A.P.T. as well as a member of your family, friend, advocate or support person
- you have the right to review the assessment and service plan
- you have the right to disagree with the assessment and service plan and place your concerns in writing to the F.A.P.T. and/or C.P.M.T.
- you have the right to participate and be present for the entire F.A.P.T. meeting and discuss your child’s and family’s situation and well as participate in decisions that apply to you and your family
What about Children and Youth Eligible for Special Education?
If your child is eligible for special education, all the rights and protections of special education continue to be available to you and your child:
- you have the right to notice before a child’s educational service begins or changes
- you have the right to consent before certain evaluations or placements
- you have a right to an independent educational evaluation if you disagree with the school’s evaluation
- you have the right to participate in the preparation of your child’s Individual Education Plan (IEP)
- you have the right to inspect and review your child’s education records
- you have the right to file a complaint or request a due process hearing
If you think that your child may be eligible for special education, contact the principal of your child’s school. The principal will guide you through the process to determine your child’s needs.
What about Children and Youth Receiving Foster Care?
If your child is in foster care you can ask the foster care social worker for help. Unless the court has taken away your parental rights, you have a right to be involved in making decisions about your child.
- you have the right to have contact with your child, including telephone calls, visits and or letters, unless the court has determined you cannot have contact
- you have the right to receive services or help that will allow the child to be returned to you
- you have the right to be informed by the agency about how your child is doing
- you have the right to be consulted when there are important decisions to be made about your child
- you have the right to participate in service planning for your child
- you have a right to be informed and invited to all court hearings and reviews concerning your child
- you have a right to legal representation at court hearings that involve your child
- you and your child have a right to confidentiality
For more information about foster care services, contact your local Department of Social Services, (540) 483-9247.