If you have a child that’s under state custody, you may have come across the term retrieval request. A retrieval request helps your bring your child home again if the child has been taken into state custody. If the social welfare committee decides that a childs well-being is at risk, they can step in and put that child in state custody. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, there are certain rules and processes that must be followed to ensure that the child is safe and well.
In Sweden, the term LVU is a mandatory law that controls the care of children. The law exists to make sure that children who get hurt in their home can be taken care of and hopefully be put in better living conditions. The reasons why a child is taken into custody can be both about home conditions and the child’s behaviour. And sometimes the child may need long-term care. While there are also times when the child’s family can make the necessary changes to ensure that the child can live a safe life at home.
Before a child is placed in custody, the Social Committee makes an assessment that confirms that the child’s health and/or development is harmed by living at home. The court will also have to establish that that assessment is correct before it’s possible to take a child into state custody. After that, the social welfare board has to make reassessments at least every six months regarding whether the child still needs to stay in custody or not.
How does a retrieval request work?
If your child has been taken into state custody and you want to bring them home, you can make a retrieval request. The child can also do this if they have reached the age of 15. The social service then investigates whether it’s reasonable to terminate the child’s custody. Social services only have up to four months to complete their investigation. When the investigation is completed, the social welfare committee makes a decision based on it. In the case they don’t approve the request, you can appeal the decision to the administrative court.
When making a retrieval request, you’ll get the help of a public assistant. You don’t have to pay for your public assistance since the state is responsible for those costs. Before making a retrieval request, you have to review the reasons why your child was placed in custody in the first place. If it was due to reasons that you are responsible for, you have to make the necessary changes the social welfare board considers you should make before your child can return home. If the harmful situation for the child hasn’t changed, your retrieval request won’t be approved.