TPR Trial; What to expect
I have had my placement since birth, 21 months. His mom tried and was unsucessful at caseplan. Biological dad never attempted caseplan, and refused any involvement at all. Hanging up on lawyers, caseworkers... He went to jail when child was 11 months old. Up until then he never wanted anything to do with child/ caaseplan. Mom and I developed a close relationship. She was willing to sign over her rights in January at the TPR court, dad's lawyer however wanted to take it to trial. Dad gets out at the end of April, TPR trial is set for May 7th... what is going to happen at this point? Is it possible that they give dad time to start a caseplan?? This child was born drug exposed and has special needs. Will any or some of this be looked at??
Unfortunately, there's no one answer. As I mentioned in your other thread, a lot depends on the judge.

Short-term incarcerations definitely cause problems with timelines. The case can absolutely be argued that dad had ample time to work his case plan prior to his incarceration (11 months is waaay ample), but it also isn't unheard of for parents to get extensions because of incarceration. In Florida, incarceration alone is not just grounds for TPR.

The TPR trial will likely include testimony from all involved agencies. GALs are usually asked to testify on the 11 points that constitute the "Manifest Best Interest" of the child: [url=http://law.onecle.com/florida/judicial-branch/39.810.html]Florida Laws: FL Statutes - Title V Judicial Branch Section 39.001 Purposes and intent; personnel standards and screening. - Florida Attorney Resources - Florida Laws[/url]

At trial, I would expect "everything" to be looked at, but guessing how court is going to go is just that -- guessing. Wink
So who all will testify? And should it be a concern that his GAL isn't really involved? I worry that he'll recommend placement with family though the caseworker and dcf atty along will his bmom want him to remain here. Also, would mom be called to testify? This is the first time any of my children have gone to TPR and I have no understanding of what is all to occur. Thanks for your help
You are not out of line to be concerned that the GAL isn't involved. However, even involved GALs don't always inform foster parents how they will testify. There's always some chance of some last minute happening that will change the GAL's opinion on the case -- rare by the time you get to TPR, but it does happen.

Parents will likely have the opportunity to testify. One of the main things that has to be proven is that Case Management provided all necessary support to parents for them to complete their Case Plan (for example, if the Case Manager failed to provide referrals, that would be a significant stumbling block for TPR). If mom is ready to sign surrenders, I'm not sure if she will be called or not. These hearings have so many variables, it's really hard to guess where they will end up.
Lemon Pie, my fd's pre-trial TPR hearing is 2/19, judicial review is 2/25, and TPR trial is 3/14. Do you think I should attend all 3 as the foster parent (FYI, I'm not going to be adopting)? Just curious, it seems kind of silly that those dates are so close together, especially the pre-trial and the judicial review.
Unfortunately, Judicial Reviews have to happen on a certain schedule, so it doesn't really matter what's happening around them.

Without knowing your case, it's impossible for me to recommend which hearings you should/shouldn't attend -- I'd hate for you to miss something crucial based on my uninformed opinion.

I can tell you that the Pre-Trial Hearing (the second in the TPR series) is usually "administrative" in nature. Discussions of paperwork, witnesses, order of witnesses, etc. Mostly, if not completely, lawyer "stuff."

And I can also tell you that in my experience, JRs scheduled in the middle of a TPR series are usually a rubber-stamp for things to continue as they are.

However... while it's not the norm at either the Pre-Trial or end-of-the-road JR, you just never know when something dramatic is going to happen that turns a case on its ear.

Sorry if that's not all that helpful -- if I was personally involved in your case, I could probably give you a better answer.
Thanks for your answer Lemonpie, it does help. I think I'm going to attend the JR and the actual TPR trial. Whatever happens at the pre-trial will be communicated to me anyhow.
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