Friday, January 31, 2014

Report on the Child Welfare Statutory Time Requirements

The Juvenile Court Act of the State of Utah has certain time requirements for Child Welfare proceedings.  Utah Code Ann. 78A-6-306(1)(a) addresses shelter hearings, 78A-6-309 addresses pretrial and adjudication hearings, 78A-6-312 addresses dispositional hearings and reunification services, and 78A-6-314 addresses permanency hearings and petitions for termination.

Each year the Judicial Branch reports its compliance with the time requirements to the Child Welfare Legislative Oversight Panel.  The report also addresses any reasons for non-compliance.

You can download a copy of the Report for the Fiscal Year 2013 HERE.

Below is an overview of the compliance from July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013.

Statutory DeadlineIncident CountCompliantNot CompliantPercent Compliant
Shelter3 days134313212298%
Child Welfare Proceeding Pretrial15 days164616182898%
Child Welfare Proceedings Adjudication60 days164816004897%
Child Welfare Proceeding Disposition30 days162215368695%
No Reunification to Permancy Hearing30 days2432182590%
Permanency Hearing <36 Months8 months3573471097%
Permanency Hearing >36 Months12 months7847285693%
Termination Pretrial45 days5104169482%
Removal to Decision on Petition to Terminate18 months3032683588%
PSS Pretrial15 days134612915596%
PSS Adjudication60 days123011725895%

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Parental Interests in Immigration Enforcement Activities

On August 23, 2013, the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) released Directive 11064.1 on the topic of Facilitating Parental Interests in the Course of Civil Immigration Enforcement Activities.  If you represent a parent that is involved with ICE and/or deportation proceedings, you may want to familiarize yourself with this directive.

Dawn Marie Rubio, our Juvenile Court Administrator, recently sent a memo to the judges, trial court executives and the clerks of the court addressing the main points of the ICE directive.  Her insights are below.

You can also download a copy of Ms. Rubio's memo and the ICE Directive HERE.

Re:                  ICE Directive 11064.1, Facilitating Parental Interests in the Course of Civil Immigration Enforcement Activities

Parent attorneys should be aware of the attached directive issued by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement [ICE] because of its implications for child welfare proceedings.

The ICE directive defines a "proceeding in which a family or dependency court or child welfare agency adjudicates or enforces the rights of parents or minor children through the determination or modification of parenting plans, child custody, visitation, or support, or the distribution of property or other legal obligations in the context of parental rights."  The directive is applicable to alien parents or legal guardians who: (1) are the primary caretakers of minor children regardless of the children's citizenship, (2) who have a direct interest in a family court or child welfare proceeding, and (3) whose minor children are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents.  The stated policy is that "ICE personnel should ensure that the agency's immigration enforcement activities do not unnecessarily disrupt the parental rights of both alien parents and legal guardians of minor children."

The directive includes requirements for ICE to:
·                 Designate a person in each field office to serve as the point of contact on all issues related to parental rights in that given area;
·                 Hold detained parents or legal guardians in detention facilities that are reasonably close to where their children are living and to the location of the family court or child welfare proceedings whenever possible;

·                 Facilitate the ability of detained parents or legal guardians to participate in family court and child welfare proceedings that affect their parental rights, if a parent provides evidence of a hearing and facilitation of their participation does not pose an undue logistical burden to ICE or raise safety or security concerns;
·                 Facilitate the ability of detained parents or legal guardians to participate in family court and child welfare proceedings through video or teleconferencing when in-person participation is not possible;
·                 Facilitate visits between detained parents or legal guardians and their children when a parent or guardian can demonstrate that such visits are required as a precondition for family reunification;
·                 Accommodate, to the extent practicable, the efforts of detained parents or legal guardians with final orders of removal to make arrangements for their children, such as, joining them in their country of removal or arranging for a guardian so their children may remain in the U.S.;
·                 Provide detained parents or legal guardians, or their legal counsel of other representatives with sufficient notice of deportation, when such notice does not raise a security concern, so that travel arrangements may be made for the children of the detained parents or legal guardians;
·                 Coordinate, to the extent practicable, the access of detained parents or legal guardians to legal counsel, consulates and consular officials, courts, and family members in the weeks prior to deportation, in order to execute signed documents, including powers of attorney, guardianship agreements, passport applications, and the purchase airline tickets; and
·                 Consider, on a case-by-case basis, facilitating the temporary return of detained parents or legal guardians to participate in a hearing related to termination of their parental rights or legal guardianship rights if the family court has determined that their physical presence at the hearing is required.

The name and contact information for the local ICE Parental Rights Coordinator is:

Robert Cordero
Assistant Field Office Director
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Enforcement and Removal Operations
Salt Lake City Field Office
(o) 801-886-7414 (c) 801-502-2868

Finally, a few links to the ICE Office of Enforcement and Removal Operations outreach website that may be helpful to you regarding this issue.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Save the Date for the 2014 Court Improvement Summit

2014 Utah Indian Child Welfare Conference

This year's Utah Child Welfare Conference will be held on March 18, 2014 and is graciously being hosted by the Ute Indian Tribe at Ft. Duchesne, Utah.

You can download a flyer HERE.

Who should attend?
All individuals who are committed to serving Native American children and their families are invited to attend including,

•Tribal and state leaders
•Child welfare attorneys
•Tribal and state Judges
•Tribal and state child welfare workers
•Title VII Coordinators
•Foster Families with Native American children
•Native American kinship caregivers
•Other individuals committed to protecting Native American families

There is no cost to attend, however registration is necessary to get accurate lodging and meal counts.

To register 
CLICK HERE or paste into your URL bar.

Registration closes March 7, 2014

Pre-Conference PowWow
Please join the Ute Indian Tribe as they welcome us with a PowWow honoring Native American children and families.

March 17th. 5:30-8:00PM
Ft. Duchesne, Utah

Agenda at a Glance
March 18th  8:00- 3:30PM
Ft. Duchesne, Utah

Conference Presentations will focus on the theme Our Culture, Our Children, Our Children, specifically:

•Trends in Indian child welfare and what specifically can be done to make a difference.
•A practical application of  the Indian Child Welfare Act and the child’s best interest.
•What happens when a child is transferred from state to tribal jurisdiction.
•Tools and techniques to mending the balance of communication in family meetings.
•The recruitment of Native American foster homes.
•Utah’s efforts to lead the way in state/tribe collaboration.
•The voice of the children: A youth panel.

Participants will be able to leave the conference with specific tools and techniques to make positive change in the lives of Native American families.  

Monday, January 27, 2014

Tweet Chat Invite on January 30th #FosterEdSuccess

The National Working Group on Foster Care and Education (NWGFCE) is hosing a live tweet chat on January 30, 2014 from 12-1pm Eastern time (10am-11am our time).

The following information has been provided by the NWGFCE.  (Click here to Download):

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Great Video from Ohio Parents Advocates

Here is a wonderful video celebrating the success of some parents in Ohio were were able to beat the odds and get their kids back.