You have the right to have a lawyer represent you. If you cannot pay for one, tell the judge. The judge may appoint you one or direct you to the public defender’s office.
If you can pay for a lawyer, you must hire one. How to find a Lawyer might help with this.
*Parents can hire one lawyer to represent them both. If you are not living together or are in different situations, you may each want your own lawyer.
You have the right to information. CPS must try to notify you as soon as possible
that they have taken your children into custody
why they took the children
what your legal rights are
The notice must be understandable, considering your primary language, education, and cultural issues.
You have other rights:
To information about your children’s health, progress in school, and behavior
To work with CPS in making plans for you and your children
To know what CPS expects you to do before they will return the children
To see CPS’ records and information on your child, with some exceptions
You have the right to services to help reunite your family. DSHS provides some free services directly, or they may send you to an agency they contract with to receive free services. They also might send you to an agency that charges for services. Your CPS worker may be able to help you find housing, clothing, financial help, medical care, childcare, job services, parenting classes, family planning services, transportation services, mental health services, drug or alcohol abuse programs, and/or domestic violence or sexual assault programs.