Familial Association Rights under the Fourteenth Amendment:
Parents and children have a well-established constitutional right to live together without governmental interference. The right is an essential liberty interest protected by the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee that parents and children will not be separated by the state without due process of law, except in an emergency.
Government officials, including social workers, violate those rights if they remove a child from the custody of a parent without a warrant, unless they first conduct a reasonable investigation, and then the information they possess at the time of seizure is such as provides a reasonable cause to believe that the child is in imminent danger of serious bodily injury and there are no reasonable, less intrusive means to avoid the injury, and the circumstances are so imminent that the harm is likely to occur in the time necessary to obtain a protective custody warrant from the court.
The Constitution prohibits the removal of a child without a warrant based on emotional harm.