Court in foster care can seem like a scary, gigantic ordeal. But it isn’t, especially when you realize how little say that foster parents have in their foster child’s court case.
This episode goes through our 5 years of court cases – which pretty much means nothing to you – since court is so different for everyone! But what you basically need to know is this- if you can go, THEN GO! Even if you don’t have a chance to speak, you usually learn more about the case, and about the children you are caring for. This is also a great opportunity to meet the bio family, and possibly forge a relationship with them.
aka Foster Care Review Boards, are an opportunity for foster parents to make a statement in front of a board of volunteers who work hard to get official statements in front of a judge. There is some debate whether these are given much weight or not, but that may depend on the judge. When given an opportunity to advocate for your foster child, we say to take it.
We thought FCRBs were just for foster parents, but it is also for bio parents. That’s actually the first time we met Wesley’s parents – at an FCRB. And it was interesting.
What to wear?
Which leads to another point we made, which is to be aware of how you are dressing for court, and other official meetings like an FCRB. You don’t have to be dressed to the nines. Even nice jeans will do. But be aware that you may see bio families, and other people who may be judging you on first appearances.
Team Decision Meetings, and are supposed to include all parties on a child’s team – case managers, bio and foster parents, lawyers, etc. These are usually supposed to be pretty low key. But we did go to one, after parents’ rights were severed, and it was INTENSE. So, again – anything can happen!
If you want to hear more about court, and especially about GALs (Guardian Ad Litems), you can check out Episode 53 where we interview Kim Turner, an awesome lawyer for foster kids.
The Good Word of the Day:
“The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed,
a stronghold in times of trouble.
Those who know your name trust in you,
for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.”
God is a refuge for the oppressed – and sometimes that feels like us – the foster families. But no one is more oppressed than our foster kids. Sometimes all this court stuff, and meetings, and appointments feels like a major hassle, and a little inconvenient, but when we can remember the inconvenience and hassle of our foster babes’ lives – I think we as the responsible adults can continue to endure, and advocate, and provide for these kids!
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