Remaining a child with a caregiver order

If the conditions in a foster child's family of origin do not improve within a reasonable period of time according to the assessment of the Youth Welfare Office, the child will be placed permanently in a foster family. If the biological parents do not agree with this decision, the family court can order them to remain in the foster family.

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Preconditions
In order to be able to submit an application for the retention of a foster child in the foster family to the family court, there must be an effective demand for surrender by the child's parents or by someone who has the right to determine the child's residence. In order for a stay order to be issued, the court continues to examine the following conditions: The foster child has had to live in your family for a long time, has integrated and built close relationships. A return to the family of the biological parents would jeopardize the further development of the child. The guideline value "longer period" is an indefinite legal term that must be assessed on a case-by-case basis. Decisive criteria here are the age of the child and his history. In addition to the application for the child to remain in the foster family, an urgent application for "issuance of a provisional order to remain" can also be made.
As a caregiver, you submit an application to the family court for the child to remain in the foster family. In addition, the court must also act ex officio, so that the Youth Welfare Office can also submit a corresponding application. Until the conclusion of the proceedings, the court may issue an interim injunction under which the foster child remains with the foster family until the decision is made. The family court will usually hear you as the applicant caregiver and the parents and also the child in person. In addition, it will usually obtain an opinion from the responsible youth welfare office and, if necessary, the official guardianship and appoint the child a so-called procedural counsel who represents the interests of the child in the proceedings. Foster children from the age of 14 must always be heard by the court in proceedings concerning personal or property custody. A child under the age of 14 will be heard if his or her inclinations, ties or will are important for the decision or if it appears necessary to establish the facts. In addition, further investigative steps, in particular the obtaining of a psychological expert opinion, can be considered. After carrying out these investigative steps and procedural acts, the family court will decide on the application to remain by order. In any case, the court decision is based on the so-called "child welfare principle". The judicial decision is therefore not based on the subjective wishes of the parents or foster parents. Rather, it must be ensured that the child is not caused lasting damage by a relationship breakdown.

Responsible for the content
Senator for Justice and Constitution of the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen

Last update or date of publication
02.10.2020