- Juvenile Court Services
- Problem-Solving Approaches
Problem solving requires communication. Here are some of the non-courtroom ways that are used to resolve problem issues in dependency cases.
Negotiation takes place when two or more parties work together to try and settle an issue. Parents and case managers may negotiate certain points. The various attorneys frequently negotiate directly with one another to resolve issues outside of the courtroom setting. Admissions and settlements are often resolved this way. It is important that people keep in touch with their attorneys so the attorneys will know their positions and be able to negotiate for them effectively.
Staffings are meetings intended to bring together many parties to do problem solving and/or planning regarding case plan requirements. Parents, extended family, placement families, and therapists are among those who might attend a staffing. These meetings are facilitated by a staff person from the Department. Talk with your case manager or your attorney for more information on how to request a staffing.
The Dependency Alternative Program is a court supported program that may allow a family to avoid a dependency. In cases where there is a one safe parent, where there is a non-parent caregiver or in some private dependency petitions, DAP allows parties to consider an alternative placement for the child based on agreement by all-involved parties. Through DAP, families can meet with an advisory attorney who will inform them of options, families will get assistance filling out necessary forms, court-fees will be waived, the Judge can enter orders in family court and the case can be managed in a single day.
A CFT is a facilitated team-based service and support planning process. The team may include the child and his/her family, any foster parents, the DCS case manager, a behavioral health representative, and any individuals important in the child’s life who are invited to participate by the child and family such as teachers, extended family members, friends, family support partners, coaches, providers, representatives from churches, synagogues or mosques, agents from other service systems. The CFT Team creates and implements a plan to ensure that the child’s needs are being met. The goal of a CFT is to create sustainable supports that are based on their strengths, the strengths of their family and their formal and natural supports.
ART Meetings, like a CFT, are designed to foster a coordinated, flexible support system for parents to address barriers to meeting the goals of the case plan and reunification. The center of the Team is the parent(s) and his/her formal and natural supports.
The Team Decision Meeting is a meeting that is held by DCS. It is facilitated by a DCS staff member who is not involved in your case. Parents, the DCS CM, children, foster placement, supportive family members and behavioral health providers are all invited to attend. TDM’s are typically held at the very beginning of the case when DCS makes a decision that they may need to remove a child, or they already have removed a child. A TDM is also held at other times in the case such as when DCS feels it is time to change the case plan to something other than reunification, or when DCS wants to create a reunification transition.