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Child Welfare FAQs
Q: Why me?
A: Many parents feel that Child Protective Services is unfair. You may know many other parents who are struggling and it may seem unfair that CPS took your children. It’s best to let that go and focus on you and your children. In the long run, that’s what will help you get your children back.
Q: What do I have to do to get my children back?
A: Take stock of your life as it is now and how you want it to be. Although this is a hard way to get help, try to see the opportunities in CPS involvement. You may get help with things such as depression, drugs and alcohol or a bad relationship. Services for these issues will help you be the kind of parent you want to be.
Get organized and ask questions. The child welfare system is very complicated. Get a binder to keep all of your papers in, the cards of social workers and attorneys, and important dates such as court dates. If there is something you don’t understand, don’t be afraid to ask.
Many child welfare offices have veteran parents who have been through the system. If you are interested in talking to one, ask your social worker.
Q: How long will it take for my children to return home?
A: It is not possible to predict how long it will take for a family to be reunited. If your case is open more than 15 months, CPS is required to make permanent plans for a child. This may include termination of parental rights.
Q: What can I do to help my children through this?
A: It’s very important that you make your visits with your children. Your children want and need to see you. Parents who visit are much more likely to get their children back than parents who do not visit. When you visit, bring a healthy snack that your children will enjoy and plan an activity you can do together, such as playing a favorite game or reading a book.
Q: What should I tell my children?
A: Be honest with your children. It’s tempting to tell them that they will be coming home soon, even if you’re not sure about that. Let your children know that you love them and that you are doing everything you can to get them back, but be careful not to give them misinformation.