On July 2, 2015, attorneys Cadem and Burghart filed an appeal in the case of In the Matter of the Welfare of the Child of: M.P.J. and J.J. Issues raised on appeal include whether the District Court erred by placing the child in non-relative foster care despite the availability of many relatives to provide care, including the child’s father. Cadem and Burghart will argue that the District Court failed to make sufficient individualized findings supporting its order, that the County did not make reasonable efforts to prevent placement, and that out of home placement in non-relative foster care was not in the best interests of the child.
This is an important case in Minnesota. It is becoming more and more common for social service agencies to rely upon their financial partners for child placement and treatment needs. Such decisions should not be financially motivated. The law demands that children be placed with family members if possible and that the least restrictive means be used to assure a child’s safety. In this case, the child was placed with in non-relative foster care rather than his own non-custodial father or his grandparents, all of whom were qualified to provide care.