Parents make mistakes, and sometimes those mistakes cost them their legal rights as a parent. Drug addiction or alcohol dependence could be enough of a reason for the courts to remove your children from your custody. Sometimes, mere accusations of abuse or violence in the home can result in investigation by the Department of Children and Families (DCF).
The idea behind terminating parental rights is to protect vulnerable children. While DCF as an organization should focus on the best interests of the children, they are also capable of making mistakes in cases.
A parent who shouts or displays anger about an investigation could end up labeled as hostile or volatile, resulting in worsening issues up to the potential removal of children from a home. If the removal of your children was a mistake or if you have sought treatment to correct the underlying reason why the children were removed, it may be time to look into regaining your parental rights.
Documentation from therapy and rehabilitation courses can help
Since alcohol or drug abuse often play a factor in the removal of children from a home, treatment and sobriety can help build a case to return them. In some cases, the DCF or the family courts may order substance abuse counseling or even in-patient rehabilitation. Successfully completing these programs can help you establish yourself as compliant and focused on the children.
If the removal involved allegations of abuse, neglect or abandonment, seeking therapy to address any issues, like anger, could help as well. Establishing that you’ve taken steps to become healthier can only help you show the courts that you are a dedicated, loving parent.
Focus on stability at home and at work
If other children remain at home, do your best to provide those children with love and stability every day. If you have no children in the home, work toward establishing your home as a positive environment for the children. Clean the home if DCF expressed concerns about living conditions.
You should also work to demonstrate that you have a stable source of income adequate to the needs of your children. Having a permanent address, a positive employment situation and a focus on improvement can all help you in your push to regain parental rights.
Follow any DCF requests and remain positive and calm
It’s natural to feel angry when the state has questioned your parenting or removed your children. However, displaying any anger can hurt your case for regaining custody. You should always put your best self forward, whether you’re meeting with DCF caseworkers or headed to court. Being clean, respectful, well-dressed and courteous can all help you make a positive impression.
Combine an improved attitude with fulfilling the court’s requests and following the proper legal channels, and you give yourself the best chance at regaining custody of your children.