What are my rights if the Social Worker wants to move my foster child to a new home?

California regulations and laws require that foster parents must be given at least 14 calendar days advance written notice of intent to remove a foster child, and must be informed of the right to request a grievance review to challenge the removal before it happens.

Welfare and Institutions code section 16010.7 went into effect in California in 2019. This law requires social workers to create a written “placement preservation plan” before moving a foster child. The law i designed to address the trauma experienced by children and their caregivers when a foster child is moved suddenly or unnecessarily. Each Child welfare agency must implement a “preservation” strategy to attempt to maintain the child’s current foster placement.

Prior to the Welfare and Institutions Code Section 366.26 hearing, caregivers are entitled to 14 Days Written Notice of Intent to Remove.  There is an additional requirement that the county placing agency implement a placement preservation strategy in an attempt to maintain the current placement of the child/youth.  Welfare and Institutions Code section 16010.7

Furthermore, California Department of Social Services Regulation 31-020.1 provides individuals objecting to the change of placement the rights to request an intra-agency grievance review hearing.

Here’s how Long Angeles County is implementing this important legal change: 

If you object to the social worker’s decision to remove your foster child, you can file a written grievance.
California Department of Social Services Regulation 31-020.1 provides individuals objecting to the change of placement the rights to request an agency grievance review hearing.
In Los Angeles County this is done by filling out DCFS Form 4161. Download a copy here:

https://www.advokids.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/DCFS4161-8-18-2018.pdf  

For more info on using the grievance process to challenge removal of a California foster child, visit:

https://www.advokids.org/legal-tools/information-for-caregivers/14-days-notice-of-placement-change/