Tag: foster care

What Can a Judge Do When The 13-Year-Old Child in a Custody Case Who Was a Victim of Parental Alienation Says They Want to Live in a Foster Home?

Your question presumes that the judge heard from the child. In many cases (frankly most), even though the child has the greatest stake in the child custody award dispute, the child is “protected” from being heard on the subject (don’t get me started on why this is all kinds of foolishness). 

But if the court has heard from the child as to his experiences and desires and the reasons for those desires, the next question is whether the court believes the child’s testimony. If the court does not believe the child, then the judge will not do anything in response to what the child desires. 

But if the court believes the child’s testimony, that the child’s desires are sensible and worthwhile, and that the child needs the court’s help to achieve the child’s desires, then the court can issue orders designed to achieve those ends. 

The degree of parental alienation caused by one or both of the child’s parents would, however, have to be hellish for a court to find that it is preferable to subject a child to all the risks of physical and psychological harm associated with the general hell of foster care, rather than to keep the child in the custody of one or both of the child’s own parents. 

Utah Family Law, LC | | 801-466-9277  

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Do you automatically lose your kid if CPS takes you to court?

No, but if CPS or DCFS or DFS or whatever your jurisdiction calls that particular agency of the state filed an action in court to place your children in foster care and/or to terminate your parental rights, the odds are against you. If you are innocent of the charges against you (that does happen at a surprising rate, though we all need to acknowledge that there are plenty of legitimate times CPS will intervene on behalf of the child for that child protection) and you are being given the runaround (or worse, being chewed up by a bureaucratic machine that isn’t interested in the truth), lawyer up. It is all but guaranteed that you couldn’t defend yourself successfully without a good (a good) lawyer’s help.

Utah Family Law, LC | | 801-466-9277

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What is the most likely experience for kids who age out of the foster care system?

Funny you should ask, as I just finished up a conference at which a retired judge and family advocate spoke on this very subject.

The statistics are tragic. Those that had the greatest impact on me:

  • children raised in foster care have a 2.1% likelihood of graduating from college with a bachelor’s degree
  • adults who were raised in foster care have an extraordinarily higher likelihood of being incarcerated, unemployed, or dead within just a few years of reaching their 18th birthday
  • the two most common characteristics of people in prison are 1) they lack empathy; and 2) they were raised in foster care
  • children in foster care suffer Post Traumatic Stress Disorder at substantially higher rates than other children

This speaker was of the opinion, an opinion held by many, that the foster care system is doing children more harm than good, generally. Given all the statistics that he shared, it would have been hard to argue otherwise.

Infographic | What happens when kids age out of foster care?

51 Useful Aging Out of Foster Care Statistics

Utah Family Law, LC | | 801-466-9277

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