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About Investigations ~ Allegations ~ Frustration
Since investigations are handled differently in each state and even in each county within a state, there are no set rules on what to do when you find yourself being investigated. That's where the information you can find from our group is so valuable. We do not give legal advice, however we can tell you what each one of us did, along with what worked and didn't work. What we find is what worked for one case, didn't for another. Some states have fair hearings for their appeal process, where an Administrative judge will be involved, while other states have the appeals heard by DCFS. From the information we provide, you must make your own choice as to what road you take. What is so great about our group is that we recognize we do have different opinions and we respectfully allow each member to voice their opinions. However, that's not to say anyone is right or wrong. Again, having all your choices in front of you, only you can decide what's right for you and your case.
Allegations can be made by the children, workers, neighbors, etc., so each case will be different. I believe if the allegation is coming from a worker, you must handle things differently and be more forceful. It is already apparent they are out to get you and you must use any legal means to save yourself and your family. This is a case where you can't sit back and wait. They're the ones making the allegation against you and you can be sure, they will stop at nothing to make sure the allegation is validated/substantiated.
If the allegation is coming from a child, etc., I believe this is a situation where you have to be especially careful when deciding what "plan of action" you are going to take. The one thing that is embedded in my mind is Vivian's case, it is something I will never forget. The finding in her case was unfounded UNTIL she made a comment to the worker and it was then changed to founded. This really shows how much power they have when deciding our future and how frightening it is. When thinking of her case, what really scares me is what if I had been the one to suggest to Vivian to talk to this worker...that's something I couldn't live with.
There's nothing more frustrating than having to endure an investigation, we've all been there. In most areas, there's a specific time limit as to how long the investigation will take and in most instances, you can be sure they will use every single day and then they can ask for an extension. What I found unbearable was knowing they had all these days to do our investigation, but what was done could be accomplished in a matter of a few days. However, they were within their rights and there wasn't anything we could do about it. In our county, the investigation is over in 30 days, not including an extension, and not one day before. That's why it's important to find out the investigation policy in your area. You may also be able to find out what information will be gathered during your investigation.
No matter what road you choose, I think it's important to know there have been foster parents who were found unsubstantiated and had their children returned to them without the aide of a lawyer. So if you can't afford to hire an attorney, please don't feel your case is hopeless.
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