COURT

Your case is not in court because you have done anything wrong. Every
child who lives in foster care has a case that goes into court. The judge’s
job is to listen to what is happening to each child in foster care.

Your case will be heard by a judge or referee in Family Court. The judge
listens to someone from the City (usually a caseworker and a lawyer).
The judge also listens to your family. The judge listens to you, too.

You might go into the courtroom and you might not.It depends on the judge.
Either way, your lawyer’s job is to talk to you and then tell the judge
what you want to do. So the judge listens to you, too.

After hearing everybody's side of the story, the judge decides where
you should live and for how long.

When Do You Go To Court?
The law says that every child who is placed in foster care has a case that
goes to court. In cases where kids are taken away from their parents, the
case gets heard by a judge right away. But cases where children are
voluntarily placed may take longer to be heard.

The law states that if you are placed voluntarily, your case must be filed
with the court within 30 days of when you enter foster care. After that,
your case is reviewed by a judge every six months. But some kids wait
many months before their case goes to court and they get a lawyer.

what to do
if you are in foster care and have not
spoken to a lawyer or gone to court:

  • Call your caseworker and also call Lawyers For Children at
    800-244-2540.
  • You can also fill out a letter and mail it to Lawyers For Children.
 

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