Often kids don’t realize that they have rights and have “a voice in court.” All kids in CPS care have an attorney (AAL) appointed. That means that every kid has a lawyer that is supposed to fight in court for what you want.
Sometimes what you want and what is best for you are not the same thing. When this happens, a guardian (GAL) is appointed to tell the court what is best for you. At any time during the case, you can call your lawyer to ask questions about the case. You can also ask to meet with the judge in their office or “chambers” and talk to that judge about what you want, need or how you feel.
Talk to your lawyer often. Let them know what your thoughts are and be honest with them. While in foster care, you have the right to “normalcy.” This means that you should be able to do the types of activities and things that most kids do. You can play school sports, participate in clubs and all other things kids do. If there’s something you want to do that is considered a “normalcy” activity but can’t, talk to your attorney and ask for their help.
Can I talk to the Judge?
YES! In fact, you should talk to the judge. Knowing who the judge is and making sure the judge knows you is important so they know your wishes.
Can I attend my hearings?
Yes! If you would like to attend a hearing, tell your attorney to inform the court. CPS cases are being held virtually right now which means you don't have to miss an entire day of school. It's super easy to log onto zoom and be "present" for a hearing. Also, the information of your case might be very sensitive so discuss attending with you attorney as well as your therapist.
Do I have to attend my hearings?
Yes and No. You do not have to attend any hearings during the trial phase of the case. If you are having a placement review hearing though, those hearings are for YOU and the judges will want you to attend (if you can) so they can hear from you and know how things are going.
My Voice in Court
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