How does this whole thing work now that the hospital has filed a 51A and I have a caseworker?
Elder Law Attorney
Back when I handled these cases, the advice I always gave parents was "if DCF says jump, you say how high."
Take the service plan seriously. You were the one who used during pregnancy, and the hospital did what it was required to do by law. You need to own up to what you did and do everything you can to show that you are a mature, responsible person who is capable of putting your child's needs ahead of your own.
DCF can order random drug tests as part of your child's services plan, since your plan no doubt includes a requirement that you do not use drugs and stay away from people who do. If you do not comply with the service plan, or if the test comes out positive, the agency may go to court and seek custody of your child. Treat the caseworker with absolute respect and don't whine or blame other people -- that kind of behavior will make you look immature and will hurt your chances of staying with your child.
E. Alexandra "Sasha" Golden is a Massachusetts lawyer. All answers are based on Massachusetts law. All answers are for educational purposes and no attorney-client relationship is formed by providing an answer to a question.