Remember when you wrote down the first thought you had this morning? Great. Now write a post about it.
The first thought I had this morning was that I had to be in Family Court this afternoon on my CASA (Court-Appointed Special Advocates for children) case. I don’t particularly relish going to court over this case today. It will not be pleasant. But it is necessary.
I can’t give you any of the particulars of this case because of matters of confidentiality. Suffice it to say it has been a particularly nasty case of child neglect that has dragged on this time for eighteen months. The case had an earlier life of neglect where the older child was eventually given back to the mother, only to come back into care later, this time with younger siblings. All the children were neglected. The parents were not able to care for the children for many reasons and were given every opportunity to show that they could care for the children and they blew those opportunities. Not only did they blow those opportunities but they made more colossal mistakes. Now they will never get their children back. I have to recommend that their parental rights be terminated. I do not make this recommendation lightly. I actually recommended this three months ago when we were in court last but Family Services requested the parents be given more time to complete their services. The judge reluctantly went along with their recommendation.
The judge is going to be livid today. I expect an explosion in court. But it won’t be my fault. I’m on record as having recommending termination before and I recommend it now, and he’ll go along with it. Unfortunately, another father has been found and his rights aren’t being terminated yet. That complicates matters. The judge will not be happy. Family Services should have found this father a long time before now and dealt with this problem so we could get a permanent solution for these children. For the younger children, we can get a permanent solution but not for the older one. That’s a problem. That will be a problem for the judge. But as I said, the judge will not be angry with me. He will take my recommendations and run with them. Family Services is on the line.
We have another hearing next week on the merits of the case, the real trial. The parents cannot be there. I can’t tell you why. You can figure it out for yourselves. They did it to themselves. It is truly sad. But the children will be better off in the long run. It will be traumatic for the older child, but with counseling, the child will get through it. Children are resilient, thank God. I love these children. I want only the best for them. That’s why I recommend what I recommend, as painful as it is. They are survivors. They will survive. And I will go on to another case that needs me.