How to receive custody of my nephews from CYS?

Q: My mother and father had full parental rights of my two nephews. They were removed from their custody 1 month ago and placed with their step grandfather. I told CYS I would take them but was denied. They said it was because my spouse has DISMISSED charges in his past (driving without a license, no insurance, assault), and because they feel it would be too hard to do monthly checks if they were in my care. I live in PA the children are in WVA. They are being removed from their step grandfather’s care today and being placed in a foster home. Is there not anything else I can do to get them in my care? (Mt. Pleasant, PA)

A: Normally this child protective law is administered by each state but is under federal guidelines, so every state runs a similar program. It sounds like you are offering yourself as a kinship placement resource and the child agency is telling you that you are not a suitable placement resource. Dismissed criminal charges should be no problem and the monthly check things sounds suspicious. The child agency in WVA can work out an agreement to transfer the case to PA through the Interstate Compact Law, assuming WVA is a member which I believe they are. In that case, Charleston would communicate with Harrisburg, and the local agency in PA (your county) there would do a home study on your house and get the case ready to transfer. If you are serious about this, you can hire a lawyer in WVA to file a petition with the court asking for you to be considered as a placement resource by CYF and to be heard at the next court hearing. If you do not hire an attorney, you will need to appear at the hearings and tell the judge who you are and what you want. The judge may order the agency to investigate you as a potential placement resource and do a home study on you and get things moving with some supervised visitation.