I showed up 10 minutes early. At 9:30am they called the case in...but my worker nor the dhs worker was there. The referee said that he had a termination trial at 10 am so time was limited. The lawyers chatted about how this is typical of my agency while the referee's court reporter got dad and mom on the phone so they could "participate". Finally, 15 minutes late, my worker and the dhs worker walk in. We have 15 minutes in which to "decide" what path Lizzy's life should head down so they get started.
Basically the referee was not thrilled with the report the worker wrote and everyone basically chatted about wanting to change the goal from reunification to termination. Dad doesn't want that and the Referee wants to see a list that contains everything DHS and our agency has done from day one to reunify this child to her parents.
I felt like everyone was annoyed with our agency and nothing changed, nothing was barely discussed. Visits stay the same, mom stated that she would like me to adopt Lizzy and that she would sign papers to that effect. What I was hoping for the most was that they would discuss suspending dad's visits, but under the circumstances there was no appropriate time to do that.
The Referee asked that my agency write up a termination petition within 28 days and then scheduled a hearing for 3 months from now. I think if they accept the petition they will schedule a trial...I don't know what that does or doesn't do to the next hearing that is scheduled.
After it was over my worker knew that she looked dumb and stated that to me later on the phone. I really like her and I think she will do better next time. I am basically writing my own report to give her, and now that I am thinking about giving it to Lizzy's lawyer and the Judge as well, of basically everything that has happened in the past 18 months of this child's life. I want the worker, who has been on this case for 3 months, to have something to work with. I guess recently Dad just admitted that he is living with a new girlfriend who has had her children removed as well. Based on everything going on with him I think Lizzy has a good shot of being free from him eventually. Until then we still will have these ridiculous visits to deal with.