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KNOXVILLE, TN, September 29, 2022 /24-7PressRelease/ -- If you are accused of abuse, neglect, or abandonment, you can expect to be investigated by the Tennessee Department of Children Services (DCS).
A DCS investigation can be emotionally draining, so you need a skilled and knowledgeable lawyer on your side throughout the process. A Knoxville family law attorney at Mark A. Pienkowski, Esq., Family Legal Services can help you.
You have the right to:
Participate in developing the family permanency plan
Visit your child
Make decisions about education
You should be consulted about:
Consent to major medical treatment of your child
Your child's religion
You should be informed about:
The Department of Children's Services (DCS) must help return your child to you. The court will want to know what DCS is doing to help you.
The right to an attorney – at all hearings, including appeals, you have the right to be represented by an attorney. If the court determines that you cannot afford an attorney, it will appoint one for you – the court must inform you of this right.
Your family will be provided with a permanency plan by DCS. Your plan will outline the services you and your child will receive – in it, you will learn what you must do to get your child back home. Participation in the Child and Family Team Meeting will be crucial to developing the plan – it is your right to be notified in advance of the meeting. As long as your child is in foster care, there will be additional Child and Family Team Meetings – participation in these meetings is your right, and you should do so. Schedule these meetings at a time and date that do not interfere with your family's permanency plan requirements.
You have the right to visit your child as much as possible when your child is in foster care. You should have visits at least 2 times a month for at least 4 hours each month. If your child is placed far away from where you live, you have the right to receive travel assistance from DCS. Talk to your lawyer if you want to visit your child more, or if you are having problems getting to your visits.
Education & School Rights
While your child is in foster care you should help make decisions about your child's education. You have the right to attend school meetings, and ask questions about your child's education. There may be a decision made about whether it is in your child's best interest to stay in his or her current school – you should be involved in that school placement decision.
While your child is in foster care, you should help make medical decisions, attend doctor appointments, and learn how to best care for your child. You should be consulted about major medical decisions, except emergencies. In some situations, your child can choose not to share his or her medical information with you.
Placement Decisions For Your Child:
Be prepared to suggest a relative or other adult who knows your child and would be supportive of you and your family.
Due Process Rights:
While your child is in foster care you have the right to participate in court hearings, or to request an appeal.
Your Responsibilities to the Court and DCS:
Attend all juvenile court hearings and team meetings
Cooperate with your DCS case worker
Participate in the services that are offered and work on your child's permanency plan
Pay child support if ordered by the court
Provide all relevant information to DCS
Provide your DCS case worker with information about your progress towards completing your responsibilities in your family permanency plan
Visit and communicate with your child
Attorney Mark A. Pienkowski, Esq., Family Legal Services helps people and families with divorce and family law legal issues in Knoxville, TN and the surrounding towns areas and counties.
Mark A. Pienkowski, Esq., Family Legal Services
7417 Kingston Pike Suite105
Knoxville, TN 37919
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