Mom, dad and the DHS worker were on the phone, the rest of us were there in person.
Basically, the social worker listed off the reasons for changing the goal. I kind of thought they would let the parents make a plea or argue about it, which they tried to, but it seemed that the people controlling the meeting were sure to make sure that the goal of the meeting was basically to inform everyone one of what WAS going to happen, not debate about it.
Mom had a bit of a melt down, but it wasn't anything to crazy. She stated that even though not currently, before she and bio dad broke up she HAD done everything they asked her to. She then was emphatic that she wanted me to adopt Lizzy.
Legal dad does not agree with any of this and want Lizzy to come live with him even though he has no income, his house is in foreclosure, she doesn't like him and he has a big enough flea problem at his house that they are all over him. That is just SOME of the issues. We won't get into all the drug issues and prescriptions that he is on that make him basically incapable of even taking care of himself.
He insisted that even though Lizzy has been in care for 18 months they have not been working to reunify her WITH HIM for those 18 months (implying that he should have more time) and that he has not been offered the services that mom has gotten. He kept talking about therapy...I don't know how he thought that would make a big difference, but that is what he went with.
Basically everyone jumped all over him about only coming to his visits sporadically and the DHS worker was VERY good at answering all his statements in a very pointed way. For example, when he was asking about getting more services she told him to "Be careful what you ask for because so far we have been offering you transportation to the visits which you only use half of the time and cancel the rest of the time. If you ask me for services and then don't show up for them you are going to make yourself look very bad. Further more I see that you did complete your parenting classes, apparently you did not learn the things you are supposed to learn in them like how YOUR actions affect your child. You only showing up to your visits when you feel like it affects your child, so you will probably need to take another parenting class." She was very on the ball and had great answers for every excuse he had. She did make sure to get the ball rolling to make sure that he is offered every service imaginable so that when they go to terminate they can prove that he is unfit.
At the end of the day it all comes down to that there is a court hearing Monday at 9:30 am at which the social worker, DHS worker, and Lizzy lawyer are all going to ask that the goal be changed from reunification to adoption. I talked to Lizzy's lawyer today and asked him to ask that legal dad's visits be stopped if the goal is changed and also told him about all the negative things that have gone on at the visits. He said he would try to get them suspended and I know the social worker wants that as well.
Monday will be very interesting. I so hope the judge/referee does what is best for Lizzy and doesn't feed into this stuff from legal dad.