Participation in a DCS Case:
A.R.S. 8-530. Foster parents are provided the following rights:
1. To be treated with consideration and respect
2. To be included as a valued member of the team that provides services to the foster child.
3. To receive support services.
4. To receive all information regarding the child that will impact the foster home or family life during the care of the foster child.
5. To contribute to the permanency plan for the child.
6. To have placement information kept confidential.
7. To be informed of all agency policies and procedures that relate to the foster parent's role as a foster parent.
8. To receive training that will enhance the foster parent's skills and ability to cope as a foster parent.
9. To be able to receive services.
10. To confidentiality regarding issues that arise in the foster home.
11. To not be discriminated against on the basis of religion, race, color, creed, sex, national origin, age or physical handicap.
12. To receive an evaluation on the foster parent's performance.
The above Foster parent rights do not establish any legally enforceable right or cause of action on behalf of any person. Being a Foster parent of a child does not make you a party to the case. The Judge has the ability to close hearings to parties only if it is in the best interest of the child or for privacy issues/concerns. A judge may also elect not to hear from the Foster parent at that hearing or on that day. If you are concerned and feel that you are not being heard on important matters, you may want to file a “Notice of Right to Participate.”
The Notice of Right to Participate must be filed with the clerk of the court who will stamp the Notice with the date. That stamped date is the date of filing. The stamped Notice of Right to Participate must then be mailed to everyone involved with the case.
Sit in the Back of the courtroom.
Let the CASA Guardian ad Litem and DCS case manager know you are there.
Wait until the judge addresses you.
If you do not have your Notice stamped by the clerk and then mailed to all involved parties, the judge will reject the Notice. You could also be at risk of having an exparte conversation which would likely result in penalties, fines or even jail.
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