Shelter Care
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Shelter Care: What Are Your Rights?
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When a child is placed in the continued emergency shelter care during the pendency of abuse, neglect, or dependency proceedings, both the child and his or her parents maintain certain rights. With respect to the child, he or she maintains the right to telephone his or her parents at reasonable times. The child also has a right to contact his or her attorney, if one has been appointed or retained for the child in this particular matter. Many times, the local Children Services agency will set up specific times for the child to contact his or her parents.

As far as the parents are concerned, they are permitted to visit the child during reasonable visiting hours. Usually, because the circumstances requiring continued shelter care are such that they may pose imminent risk to the health and well-being of the child, the visitation between the parents and child is supervised by agency personnel. Some states even allow the child’s adult family members, pastor, and teachers to visit the child at reasonable visiting hours. The child’s attorney, however, is permitted to visit the child at ANY time.

Finally, let’s conclude this article by reflecting on a few key points about shelter care.

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