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The trauma of kids in DFCS child custody

Tolison & Williams | 15 October, 2014 | Child Custody

Understandably, child protection services seek the well-being of children. However, Colorado children who are removed from their homes and placed in child custody of the Department of Family and Children Services are often susceptible to multiple types of trauma. These types of trauma include no longer being in their home, separation from their siblings and losing their close friendships.

Children are removed from their homes when an investigation determines that there is abuse or neglect. If there is an inevitable danger, the children are taken out of the home immediately with a court order. In addition, children are removed due to substance abuse because it usually involves some sort of criminal activity and, sometimes, domestic violence. Once removed, the child is appointed an attorney who will make all legal decisions on his or her behalf. When children are taken out of their homes, they are often forced to get adjusted to a new school, meet strangers and be cared for by foster parents.

The goal is the child being back with their parents instead of being in the system. If neither parent is able to care for the children, the process is started for the termination of parental rights. In a number of cases, the foster parents wish to adopt the children.

When facing a child custody battle, it is vital for parents to fight for the right to be a significant role in their children's lives. Maintaining parental rights can help to make sure both parents and children are able to continue active relationships. Unfortunately, there are cases where the parents are not battling with each other for custody; they are battling with child protective services. If litigation occurs, the family court system in Colorado typically resolves these types of cases and determines the living environment based on the best interests of the children.

Source: Gainesville Times, "Broken Bonds: The trauma of removal", Nick Watson, Oct. 13, 2014