It is unfortunate that many children are born in less than ideal situations. Some have been results of abuse or teenage pregnancy. In any case, the parents may not be ready or capable to take care of the child.
The State of Texas is always concerned with the welfare of all children regardless of circumstance. Thus, they have facilities and implemented guidelines for foster care.
Child Protective Services (CPS) Rights in Foster Care
Every child that is placed in foster care in Texas has defined rights. They have been placed into different categories:
Safety and Care
Every child has the right to:
- An explanation on why he/she is in foster care
- A briefing on what will happen to him/her while they are in the foster care facility
- Be informed on what will happen to the rest of his family (brothers and sisters)
- Be told what the CPS is planning for his/her future
The foster care facility also needs to provide a family-like setting. The child should receive proper care and treatment and be placed in a safe, healthy and comfortable place.
It is also a basic right for a child to be treated with respect and be given personal privacy when the situation calls for it.
For the foster home, the employees must have no record of abuse, exploitation or harassment. They must also state the rules clearly and implement them in a fair manner.
Family and Contacts
If the child sent to foster care has brothers and sisters who are also under foster care, they must live together in the facility. If this is not the case, the caseworker has an obligation to offer a compelling reason for this.
If the child has existing family (parents, siblings) outside of foster care, they should maintain regular contact with them unless otherwise specified by the court or social welfare). This must also be explained by the caseworker.
Provision for a Normal Life
The child also has a right to live a normal life even if they are in foster care. He/she can still speak their own language, and the provision includes Braille if the child is legally blind.
The child should also be allowed to practice their religion and have access to education that is appropriate for his/her age and personal needs.
The facility should also cater to the sanitation and hygiene requirements of the child. There should also be childhood activities to encourage the child to participate.
The state of Texas respects the rights of every child, without distinction from those who live with their family and those in foster care. State Welfare employees should provide what the child’s family could not.
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