That depends.

If you have custody of your child, your child can go with you when you leave foster care. You and your social worker should plan to find a good living situation for you. After you leave foster care, it is up to you to care for your child and to make decisions for your family.

If the other parent or a relative has cared for your child while you were in foster care, but you still have parental rights, you must ask the court to give the child back to you if the court gave them custody (called “guardianship”). You must show the court that

  • you will be a good parent,
  • you are able to care for your child, and
  • giving you custody would be best for the child.

Then, if the judge agrees, you will work with CPS to develop a “reunification plan” to have your child live with you. You should talk to your lawyer about this.

If your social worker thinks you cannot care for your child, CPS may ask the court to make your child a dependent of the court. This means the child will stay in foster care.

Remember! If you do not keep custody of your child while you are in foster care and do not make or follow a Family Reunification Plan, then you will lose your parental rights, and your child will likely be adopted.


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