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Teen Allowed to Be Present at Permanency Hearing

Young man sitting down

Judge Katz sitting in a Family Court part of Westchester county recently allowed a 16 year old girl with “multiple complex needs” who has spent an extended period of time in foster care, to be present in a meeting where decisions were to be made regarding her future. Judge Katz ordered the Westchester dept of social services to transport the girl to the permanency hearing at the courthouse.

Permanency Hearings

Permanency hearings deal with the placement of children. In the past children had no right to be present at these hearings. With regard to this case, Judge Katz quoted from a legislative memorandum supporting 2007 amendment to the Family Court Act regarding permanency hearings: “children in foster care often feel disconnected by adult decisions that have not been fully explained at all to them. Involving children in their critical life decisions helps build self efficacy skills. . . .”

In this case the attorney for the child advocated for her presence at the permanency hearing. The department of Social Services argued against allowing the child to be present for the hearing. They claimed it would not be in her best interest. Judge Katz ruled that the child’s attendance may not be in her best interest, but the court was not empowered to deny her right to be present.

Attorney Elliot Schlissel

Elliot S. Schlissel, Esq. and his associates are CPS defense lawyers representing clients in proceedings brought by ACS and CPS for child abuse and child neglect throughout the New York Metropolitan area.

Valley Stream, Lynbrook, Baldwin, Malverne, Freeport, Oceanside, Long Beach, Elmont, Lakeview, West Hempstead, Hempstead, Merrick, Bellmore