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What do I do when the law violates child endangerment laws?

Boston, MA |

I know a boy who was taken from home four years ago, half his life, because his mother was a neglectful drug addict. She was given one year, maximum, to clean up her act and has since been kicked out of several rehab programs, failing to complete a single one. She came in high to the last visit. But a social worker we talked to said it is now against the law to drug test her because it "violates her privacy."

Seriously? Is that a law now? Where is that written? (Really, I want to know where.) Is there any way to keep this kid safe? Can we appeal somewhere or talk to someone? The workers in the DCF office assigned to the case seem content to look the other way. His lawyer won't return calls and has never, to my knowledge, even asked the kid what he wants and is planning on sending him home

Attorney Answers 2


You can call the dcf hotline and make a formal complaint. You do not say your relationship to9 the child. The childs atty is correct to not speak with you if you are not a party to the case. A judge could order drug testing if necessary, you may not be privy to all the details of the case. Again call the hotline and I hope the child continues to be safe where ever he is placed.

This is not legal advice until I am retained and have reviewed all facts about your situation.

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Because of my involvement in this case, I actually am privileged to know this information. I just don't know what steps we should be taking. I know DCF is normally the place to call, but he's already in foster care and the social workers assigned to the case are part of the problem. I don't know if they're scared of the mother's attorney or they don't care or what. They could request she be drug tested. They're not going to. This boy's attorney isn't any help either. She's supposed to visit him quarterly. She's visited him once in the past year, and that was only for a few minutes to introduce herself. The other attorney, the DCF attorney, won't return phone calls or answer e-mails.

Robert Winford Carpenter

Robert Winford Carpenter


Try speaking with the dcf supervisor or consult an attorney to see if you are qualified to file a motion to intervene with the juvenile court.


I agree with Attorney Carpenter-if you are not a party to the case, the child's attorney, and the DCF worker are not able to speak with you about the case. If you believe the child is being abused or neglected, you can make a report to the DCF hotline. If the child is in foster care, then the service plan for reunification may require the mother to be drug tested before she can seek to regain custody. Again, if you are not the foster parent or guardian, you will not be given this information. Best of luck to you and this child.

This answer is intended for general informational purposes, and does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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