In this course, you can expect to learn:
A broader understanding of Child Welfare Legal System processes, procedures, and proceedings, and how to better navigate them
Parents’ and families’ legal rights and responsibilities
How to actively participate in child welfare court proceedings
Understanding Child Welfare and the Courts - Families involved with the child welfare system must often engage with the judicial system. The court experience can be intimidating and/or overwhelming. This factsheet from the Child Welfare Information Gateway is designed to demystify the legal process and inform families of their rights and responsibilities. It also answers parent and caregiver concerns about the court process and provides resources regarding legal action and parental rights. Current and prospective foster parents will find this helpful as It includes frequently asked questions about the different stages of court proceedings, how birth parents, foster parents, and family members can prepare for court hearings, a glossary of court terms, and who and what to expect in the courtroom and throughout the process.
A Bit About Hearings - Watch this video to get “real world” advice from a foster mother with firsthand experience navigating the child welfare legal system.
Please review this brief overview and flowchart of How the Child Welfare System Works, as well as this diagram of “Navigating The Courts” provided by FosterClub.
Advice for Foster Parents in Child Welfare Court Hearings - Read these helpful tips from other foster parents and caseworkers on how to effectively participate in child welfare court proceedings.
Make Your Voice Heard: A Guide to Dependency Court - Watch this informational video hosted by Tammi Workman, who has lived experience in the foster care system. The video provides a general overview of what a child welfare court hearing looks like, and how to better what a proceeding might look like in real time. Although the video represents Florida’s child welfare system, and each state’s judicial system varies slightly, the procedures and questions addressed are applicable to most child welfare courts.
Join the discussion in the comments below to answer the following question:
Why are parents and caregivers strongly encouraged to attend every child welfare hearing, and be well-prepared to share their story with the judge and the court?