There are specific rules as it pertains to court. We can navigate the system, but we first must be informed. That starts with knowing your rights as a foster parent about whether you can or cannot attend court hearings. You may not be invited to court, but lawfully, you may have a right to attend. Start your search with childwelfare.gov; they report that approximately three states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands limit attendance to the parties. All other state statutes specify that foster parents may attend, but often there are amendments to these statutes, so make sure you have up to date information. You can also reach out to your state legislature to ask about your rights. Politely but firmly advocate for yourself.
If it’s permitted in your state, go to court. It’s the best place to gather information about the case; the information you’ll receive there is often the most accurate and comprehensive because it isn’t being filtered or heard second-hand.
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