Rights And Responsibilities
Rights of you and your children:
Please ask your Family Care Counselor to explain these rights if you have any questions. It is important that you understand them and are satisfied with how your family is being treated. Please be aware you have the right to refuse any treatment or service, unless those rights have been limited by law or court order. PSF will provide services to minor children without the consent of a parent only when a court order authorizes such. If you refuse to participate in the agency programs, your Family Care Counselor will inform you of potential consequences of such a refusal.
You have the following rights:
- To be heard
- To attend meetings
- To have a say in what happens to you and your family
- To invite others to participate in your Family Team
- To have a safe and secure environment
- To receive services regardless of religion, ethnic or cultural background, race or sexual preference in a non-discriminatory manner
- To receive services in your community
- To receive services that are the least restrictive to meet your needs
- To receive cost information prior to the provision of services
- To be treated with respect and to have your family’s culture considered in all decision-making
- To have your information treated in a confidential manner
- To receive copies of team minutes, Family Plans and court documents
- To visit with one another unless otherwise ordered by the court
- To provide relevant information and help in making decisions for you and your family regarding types of services and the person/agency who will provide the service
- To submit a complaint/concern to PSF if you are unhappy with services and expect an answer back in a reasonable amount of time
- To have legal representation
- Children and Families are never restricted from calling their Family Care Counselor, Guardian ad Litem or the Florida Abuse Hotline to report allegations of neglect or abuse
- You have the right to request an in-house review of care, treatment and service plan
- You have the right to request your case be transferred to another program or caseworker within PSF. You may also request that your case be transferred to a program or caseworker outside of PSF, if the program provides the requested service.
Responsibilities of you and your family:
We want you to understand what is expected of you while working with PSF, so please ask your Family Care Counselor to answer any questions you may have about your responsibilities.
It is your responsibility
- To be honest and share information with us
- To participate in the Family Team Conference process
- To work on plan tasks and goals
- To keep appointments
- To identify other people and services that will help you be successful
- To treat others with respect
- To remain in contact with your team and the Family Care Counselor
- To remain in contact with your family through mail, visitation and phone calls unless restricted by the court
- To protect the safety of yourself and your children, to include pool and water safety
NOTE: A swimming pool or other body of water in the yard can present a very dangerous area for children. Drowning is the number one cause of death for children under five in Florida, Arizona and California, with a ranking of number two for over a dozen other states. According to government statistics, for every drowning there are eleven near-drowning incidents, many of which result in totally disabling brain damage. To protect your family from a potentially fatal accident, the following is recommended:
- Never leave your children alone in or near the pool or water, even for a moment. Do not be distracted by doorbells, phone calls, chores or conversations. If you must leave the pool or water area, take children with you, making sure the pool or area gate latches securely when it closes.
- During social gatherings at or near water, appoint a "designated watcher" to protect children from water accidents. Adults may take turns being the "watcher." When adults become preoccupied, children are at risk.
- Post rules such as: “No running," "No pushing," "No dunking" and "Never swim alone." Enforce the rules.
- Instruct babysitters about potential water hazards to children and about the use of protective devices, such as door alarms and latches. Emphasize the need for constant supervision. Be sure the person watching your children knows how to swim, how to get emergency help and how to perform CPR.
- If a child is missing, check the pool or water area first. Seconds count in preventing death or disability. Go to the edge of the pool or water area and scan the entire area, bottom of pool and surface of pool or water area.
- Install a fence to separate your house from the water area. Most children who drown in water wander out of the house and fall into the water. The fence should be 5-feet high and completely surround the water area. The fence must completely separate the water area from the house and the play area of the yard.
- Use self-closing gates that self-latch, with latches higher than your children's reach. Never prop open the gate to a water area. After the children are done swimming, secure the water area so they can't get back into it.
- Never use a pool with its pool cover partially in place, since children may become entrapped under it. Remove the cover completely.
- Place tables, chairs and other objects well away from the water area fence to prevent children from using them to climb into the water area.
- Keep rescue equipment (such as a shepherd's crook or rescue tube) and a telephone with emergency numbers noted by the water.
- Avoid air-filled "swimming aids" because they are not a substitute for approved life vests and can be dangerous should they deflate.
- Keep toys out of and away from the water area when not in use. Children playing with or reaching for toys could accidentally fall in the water.
- Remember, teaching your children how to swim DOES NOT mean your children are safe in the water.
- Don't assume that drowning or a drowning incident couldn't happen to you or your family.