OK, I understand my general responsibility but exactly what should I be doing?
The Court cannot give you legal advice, however, the Court will define what services you are required to participate in, such as drug treatment, parenting classes, etc. At this point, your duties include the following:
- Contact your social worker on a regular basis so that you can get referrals for services.
- Participate in court-ordered services. If you have been ordered to provide random U/As, remember that a missed U/A is a “dirty” U/A. You are responsible to give your social worker proof that you have done your services.
- If your child is placed out of your home, you must attend scheduled visitation.
- Follow all other court orders. Other orders may include signing releases for your children’s medical care, obeying no-contact orders, attending your child’s doctor visits, etc.
- Contact your attorney if you have legal questions or if you are not receiving referrals or visitation. Contact your attorney before every hearing to update him/her on your progress. You will receive a written court report before each hearing. If you do not agree with what is written in the report, you should make an appointment with your attorney so that you and your attorney can prepare a written response to the court report before the next scheduled hearing.
- Maintain contact with the Court Appointed Special Advocate assigned to your case. The CASA program is generally appointed to represent the best interests of all children in Dependency cases. Your child may also, in some cases, be appointed their own attorney.
- Contact your attorney, CASA and your social worker immediately when you have a new address or phone number. If these people do not have current contact information, they may not be able to reach you to let you know about important information in your case or about court hearings that are scheduled.
- Attend scheduled meetings and court hearings about your children. Sometimes, these meetings and hearings are scheduled on short notice, but it is important for you to attend.