If the Defense Panel did the same maybe they wouldn’t be so ignorant in court. At the very least they should have a code book in their office don’t you think? Here are a few codes I would like to share.
396. It is the policy of the Legislature that foster care should be a temporary method of care for the children of this state, that children have a right to a normal home life free from abuse, that reunification with the natural parent or parents or another alternate permanent living situation such as adoption or guardianship is more suitable to a child’s well-being than is foster care, that this state has a responsibility to attempt to ensure that children are given the chance to have happy and healthy lives, and that, to the extent possible, the current practice of moving children receiving foster care services from one foster home to another until they reach the age of majority should be discontinued.
397. In order to carry out the policy stated in Section 396, each county welfare department or probation department shall report to the State Department of Social Services, in the frequency and format determined by the department, foster care characteristic data and care information deemed essential by the department to establish a foster care information system. The report shall include, but not be limited to, elements that identify the factors necessitating foster care placement, the appropriateness of the placement, and the case goal or objective such as reunification, adoption, guardianship, or long-term foster care placement.
399.Any minor being considered for placement in a foster home shall have the right to make a brief statement to the court making a decision on placement. The court may disregard any preferences expressed by the minor. The minor’s right to make a statement shall not be limited to the initial placement, but shall continue for any proceedings concerning continued placement or a decision to return to parental custody.
So, your child HAS A SAY in their placement. If your child is 10 or older, regardless of your child’s age, tell them to speak up in court even if the Court MAY completely disregard it. Did you know that the children can also APPEAL any decision? All they have to do is tell their lawyer to do that and they must regardless of whether or not they feel it is in the child’s “best interests”.