What does a parent to do when child is removed from the home by police and child services?

A friend of mine who lives in CAhas had her daughter removed from her home by the police and child services. This came about because her sister called either the police or child services or both claiming that the mother uses illegal drugs (pops a lot of pills and smokes marijuana) and chokes herself to the point of fainting. The mother in question is in therapy and is prescibed antianxiety and depression medication. She does smoke marijauna but doesn’t have medical clearance for it. She also does things to herself like pulls out her hair and on occasion chokes herself but not to the point of fainting and neverdoes any of the above in front of her daughter. The police came to her house, spoke to her, then to her daughter in private. They then called child services and removed her daughter without any explanation nor did they tell her where her child was being taken. As I mentioned before, she is in therapy for many reasons and her therapist and pshyciatrist didn’t feel her daughter was in any kind of danger. My friend is extremely distraught and confused. The authorities failed to tell her what she needs to do to rectify the situation, what her next step should be.

Asked on September 18, 2011 under Criminal Law, California

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The responsibility of the authorities in this situation is to protect her child; not her. Clearly she poses a danger to herself and to her child because doing what she does puts her in a state of not being "sober" or clear minded such to help her daughter and protect her daughter. Her daughter probably has seen her either do it or at least has experienced the after effects. Unfortunately, what the best thing your friend can do for herself right now is to talk with her family and see if the child can be placed with sober and safe and responsible family members so the child does not have too much trauma. Then while the child is there, she should seek full help for herself, from a recovery and rehabilitation facility to help her with her physical and mental addictions. This is the best way to protect herself.


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