Children's presence in courtRead Now
Remember that having a child be present at the CFT meetings and court are very important. Many people forget that the child is the center of these meetings and often do not invite the child to the meetings or the court hearings. For young children under three it may not be acceptable for them to be in court as they are too young to speak or understand the nature of the proceedings. However, with older children, it is important that the judge see them physically and be able to hear their opinion if the have one. Even though the child has minor's counsel, a CASA worker, GAL, and or case foster parent present nothing is a better source on the child's well being than the child. Words and meaning gets lost in translation and this can lead to erroneous statements being made in reports that neither the child nor the parent has actually stated.
During CFTs the child may be able to voice concerns about their treatment in the foster care placement or let the case worker know how visits are going with mom or dad.. The child can also speak to the case worker and let the case worker see and hear how they are doing. With all of the paperwork that occurs the child can be easily lost in the mire and become just a case number to the case worker and the judge. The CFTs also give an opportunity for the case worker to see how the parents and the child speak and address each other. During CFTs the parents and the child can become emotionally heated and leading to yelling and tension between parent and child. This is a golden opportunity for the case worker to see how the parent and child manage their frustrations. I have seen CFTs where the child and the parent begin to yell and one of them walks out in frustration and needs to be calmed down.
That is all for today.
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