What are my rights if my attorney and/or social worker are not responding to my phone calls and/or letters?
1. Attempt to talk to your social worker and attorney first and let them know you would like them to contact you on a regular basis. Try and be as respectful and/or calm when making requests or complaints to attorney/social worker because being aggressive could be used as evidence against you their dependency case.
2. If your attorney and/or social worker is still not contacting you or returning your calls/letters, you can call their office and ask to speak to their supervisor or write to the supervisor. Tell the supervisor that you are incarcerated, which makes communication very difficult but also very important because you are isolated, and that your social worker or attorney has not been contacting you as much as is necessary. You are writing to request that your social worker or attorney be advised by the supervisor to contact you on a more adequate and regular basis.
3. If neither of the first two options works, you can file a complaint:
a. For your DSHS or CPS social worker, you can file a complaint with the Office of the Family and Children’s Ombudsman. The Family and Children's Ombudsman investigates and intervenes in cases in which it has been determined that an agency's action or inaction is unauthorized or unreasonable. In addition to addressing complaints, we work to identify system-wide issues and recommend appropriate changes in public reports to the Governor, the Legislature and agency officials. ***The complaint form is linked below ***
b. For your attorney, you can file a complaint with the Office of Public Defense Parent’s Representation Program.