6. Make foster caregivers part of the periodic court review of foster children in their care.
Currently, social workers, the child’s attorney, the State’s attorney’s or legal advisors, the psychologists, the child’s biological family, if rights have not been terminated, are all present at this hearing. Foster caregivers, other than the biological family, most likely have the most pertinent information to contribute on the child’s progress and suggestions on what would be the best decisions for the child’s (children’s) future.
Legislation is needed to make it law that the foster caregivers MUST be present at these review hearings and MUST be heard by the Judge before any decisions are made. In far too many cases, the foster caregivers are excluded from these hearings as are the children involved. I know in our case we begged to be notified whenever one of these hearings was to take place for our foster daughter and NOT once were we notified or allowed to attend.
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