Court is such a normal thing in our family and in all other foster families. It’s so normal now that I forget that when I say “I’m going to court” that it isn’t a normal thing to say. I forget that not everyone makes an appearance every couple months in front of a judge.
In foster care, there is a required hearing within 24 hours of children being removed from their parent(s) custody. Then there is another hearing within 60 days of the day they are removed from their home. After that, court is typically either every 45 days, 90 days or 6 months, just depending on the case and the permanency plan. We go to them all. That’s a lot of “your honor”s, fancy clothes and court verbiage you start to understand after a bit.
Going to court is just one way that we advocate for our kids. It is also the best way to get straight information about a case. I learn so, so much about our kids’ cases just by sitting in and listening to the case worker, the judge and the attorney(s).
In general (and this is just because I get asked about court often), the case worker will present the case to the judge, the judge may ask some questions, then the child’s attorney and the parents attorney (if applicable) will present, the judge may ask some questions, then the judge will ask the foster parent(s) to stand and share how the child is doing and anything else we would like to add. It is our chance to brag about how great our kids are! Then the judge will ask more questions of the worker and/or attorney, have the CASA (if present) present, they will determine what needs to be done by the next hearing, when the next hearing will be, and anything else that needs to be on record. We will then adjourn and be done.
Totally normal, right?