Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Countdown to Permanency

Five days from today a judge will decide whether Christian will be placed back with his father or his mother . . . or both . . . or neither.

According to Christian's caseworker, the judge hearing this case usually favors placing children back into their mother’s care versus their father’s care when the parents aren't together.  However, the Assistant Attorney General (the lawyer representing the State) and Christian’s Guardian Ad Liteum (the lawyer representing Christian) may not necessarilly argue in favor of placing Christian back with his mother. 

Not that my opinion matters, but I happen to agree that placing Christian back into his father’s care versus his mother’s care is in his best interest for a couple of important reasons which I will write about more in my next post.  I would be very surprised and concerned  if the judge decided to place Christian back with his mother.

That’s the frustrating thing about court hearings involving foster children: the ultimate decision regarding their custody is determined by a judge who may only know as much about the case as is written on a piece of paper, but it’s the caseworkers and the foster parents who really get to know the child and the birthparents best and, therefore, have a good understanding of what truly would be in the child’s best interest.

Although caseworkers speak in court and the GAL (the child’s own attorney) speaks in behalf of the child and makes recommendations, the final decision is up to the judge. Foster parents may be asked to speak in court depending upon the judge, but it is rare. We’re just the ones who take care of the kids.

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