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New Bedford, MA. My client has an open case with DCF (she has custody). Can they take custody for service plan issue?

Brockton, MA |

Mom has custody of child (3 months old). Case was opened due to mom being prescribed Suboxone while pregnant. Dad is in the picture, is a sex offender due to dating a 15 yr old at age 18. DCF put in service plan that dad could see child with mom and one other adult present. After one month (per "supervisor") worker is now stating she wants DCF supervised visits only for dad. Mom does not agree, DCF states they will take ":action" if she does not agree. Mom is in an independent housing program, has beautiful apartment, case manager, counselor, support, clean for over a year, great mom. Dad has counselor, documented clean urines for last 2.5 months, good support, great dad. Should mom agree to this new plan? What are the chances they can actually get custody of the child?

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

It is gratifying to see a program director concerned about her client's interactions with DCF. As Atty. Golden suggested, you and your client should consult with your client's care and protection attorney. The client should not be signing service plans without consulting with her lawyer.

Her lawyer should have a better sense than we do of what the possibilities are of DCF getting custody if the client doesn't agree to DCF's insistence that dad have only supervised visits as well as how to prevent DCF from getting custody if the client chooses to resist DCF's demand and DCF is not willing to renegotiate it.

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Asker

Posted

Thank you, the client has no lawyer, we do have a meeting with DCF and all providers next week, I don't think the DCF legal team will support court action in this case. We have also called the Ombudsman's office and they are aware of the issue.

Michael L Rich

Michael L Rich

Posted

You're welcome. I'm glad to hear that DCF will likely back off. I had thought there must already have been a C&P based on what had happened before in your client's dealings with DCF. Good luck with the meeting. I hope DCF lives up to your expectations.

Posted

Dcf can - speak to supervisor, regional director or its ombudsman

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Posted

Assuming that you're an attorney, I strongly suggest that you contact the local CPCS office and strategize with an experienced attorney in the CAFL unit.

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.

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Asker

Posted

I am not an attorney; I am the program director of the program the client is in.

E. Alexandra Golden

E. Alexandra Golden

Posted

OK -- find out from your client who her lawyer is (I assume she has one) and see if you can develop a joint strategy to protect her.

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