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Am I REQUIRED to do additional services from a case plan OUTSIDE of what is ACCEPTED by the court for my kids to come home.

Atlanta, GA |

My case plan required me to do counseling and the counseling company rendered 5 weeks of service to me and STOPPED. 6 weeks later the counseling company decides to render services to me again; however they would like for me to do anger management and trauma assessment. This is NOT illustrated within my case plan. The first 5 weeks of sessions did not mention any of the additional testing. I want to do everything REQUIRED of me for my children to be home. I have sought out to receive services from another licensed counseling service.

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Attorney answers 2


If your children have been removed from your custody by DFCS, it is very important that you seek legal counsel to help return them to your custody as soon as possible. If you cannot afford an attorney, the court must appoint you one. Contact your juvenile court to find out how to obtain a court appointed attorney.

As to your question, without knowing the specific goals set forth in your case plan, or why the counselor terminated services, I cannot say specific to your case whether you would have to continue in counseling. You would need to look at the court order as well as the case plan. Often court-ordered case plans will require you to attend counseling and follow all recommendations made by the counselor, in which case the additional provisions would be required. However, by law, once a parent "substantially completes" his or her case plan or resolves the issues of deprivation, he/she is entitled to a return of custody. Usually when custody is returned to a parent the Court will enter a protective order to monitor the case for a period of time.

Of course, the above is assuming that your case has been to court. If your case has not been to court, and you have signed a Safety Plan, or agreement that your children will not reside with you until you complete certain items, contact an attorney who is well versed in child welfare law ASAP.

Best of luck to you.


You are not necessarily required to perform services beyond those outlined in your case plan. However, if you were instructed to undergo counseling, and your counselor recommends anger management and trauma assessment, it would probably benefit you to comply. After all, the counseling isn't something you should just attend to check off your list, but something you're supposed to be personally benefiting from.

Beyond the above, you should really be working with an attorney to assure you are protecting, and taking full advantage of, all of your rights. If you have a case in the juvenile court, you are entitled to legal representation. You should contact the clerk's office to obtain one.

I hope this information helps answer your question(s).

~ Kem Eyo

The above answer is a general explanation of legal rights and procedures. It does not constitute legal advice. Nor does it establish an attorney-client relationship between the individual posting the question and the attorney providing the answer.

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