Social Worker Resources
In 2013, SHB 1284 passed giving incarcerated parents the right:
1. During dependency proceedings to have their service plan’s reflect the services available at the institution they are confined at, right to participate in case conference meetings, the right to visitation unless it is not in the best interest of the child.
2. To delay the filing of a termination by asking the court to make a “good cause exception” when the parent is maintaining a meaningful role in their child’s life--via phone calls, letters, attempts to get DSHS to support the parent, and showing barriers they may have received when trying to maintain a meaningful role.
3. To not have their rights terminated unnecessarily-
Help prevent termination: Help your client prove they maintained a meaningful role in their child’s life and/or that you have not been able to provide reasonable efforts to help your client maintain a role in your child’s life.
If your client is in long-term incarceration, encourage the court to create a guardianship as an alternative to relinquishment and adoption to prevent permanent separation in order to create permanency.