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Living in AZ. and found out my Grandchildren have been put…

I'm A Grandparent living...

I'm A Grandparent living in AZ. and found out my Grandchildren have been put in the Ca. Foster Care System. I want to know what kind of visitation rights I have?

Lawyer's Assistant: What steps have you taken? Have you filed any papers in family court?

No, I was just contacted by a Social Worker this afternoon. She said I would have to be assessed but I don't understand that. Not to just visit anyway.

Lawyer's Assistant: Family law varies by state. What state are you in?

I live in Arizona but my grandchildren are in California.

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

I would like to find out what options I have. The social worker thier father(my son) who is a long distance trucker that a court hearing was scheduled for Apr. 24. that seems like a long time to be in forster care if a relitive wants them.

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Answered in 6 hours by:
3/24/2018
Attorney Wendy
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 551
Experience: Member at Keefer & Keefer LLC
Verified

Hello. My name is ***** ***** I am an attorney. Learning that your grandchildren have been removed from a parent or parents and placed in foster care is certainly stressful. And, I admire your interest in providing an alternative to the foster care system. In cases of alleged abuse or neglect, where the state agency comes in and takes custody of children deemed to be in an unsafe environment, the state is then tasked with making decisions in the best interests of those children. One of those directives, in all states, is to seek placement with relatives as a preferred alternative to foster care. As a grandparent, and particularly one who lives out of the state where these proceedings are ongoing, it is very important to contact the local Child Protective Services branch handling the children's case to let them know that you are the grandparents and are willing to care for the children. The down side to living in a different state is that before children are place in a relative's home certain investigations to ensure the safety of that home must be completed and since California social workers cannot travel out of state to visit your home and perform the required investigation, this type of placement requires the cooperation of Arizona's child protective agency. It also requires that both states be members of the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) - you can find more information on California's process and participation here: http://www.cdss.ca.gov/ICPC

And contacts for Arizona's ICPC staff members here: http://icpcstatepages.org/Arizona/info/

The key is to reach out and contact all the state agencies and staff members working on or potentially helpful to your grandchildren's case to let them know who you are, that you are willing to care for the children and that you want to cooperate however need be to make that happen. There are never guarantees and the ICPC process can be unfortunately slow. If you can travel to California for the next court hearing or retain a local attorney to attend on your behalf that is something to consider as well to ensure your willingness is conveyed to the court should the children not be returned to their parent/parents at that hearing. You are to be commended for your concern for and willingness to help with your grandchildren.

I hope this is helpful. If I can be of further assistance, please reply to this email. If I answered your question and provided excellent service, I would greatly appreciate your 5 star rating at this time.

Please note: This information is ​for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No course of action is being proposed and no attorney-client relationship or privilege has been formed as a result of this conversation.

Attorney Wendy
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 551
Experience: Member at Keefer & Keefer LLC
Verified
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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

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