The water we drink, the streets we drive on, the police and fire protection we rely on – local governments provide these and other services every day. They set the parameters for quality of life in your community. Local Governments are close to you, but how much do you really know about how they work? This podcast covers the many facets of local government in North Carolina.
Welcome to “A Day in the Life”. This is a production of the Center for Public Leadership and Governance at School of Government at the University of North Carolina. Each episode of “A Day in the Life” is a short podcast on the trials and tribulations newly elected local officials face each day as they serve their first year in public office. With “first meeting” guidance from incumbent officials, quick tips for sidestepping embarrassing media moments, and other advice, you’ll successfully navigate the potholes of public office.
We’re back with Episode 5, “The Child’s Voice in Court: The Role of the Guardian ad Litem,” for our Beyond the Bench Season 2 podcast. In this episode, we take a break from our court cases to focus on the child. Find out how the child’s perspective is represented in court, through a guardian ad litem and the child him or herself.
At the end of our last episode, one of our two cases ended when the court dismissed it after concluding the child was not neglected. But in our other case, the case where the children were living with their parents in a van in the woods without adequate shelter, food, and hygiene and were exposed to their parent’s domestic violence, the children were adjudicated neglected and the court entered a dispositional order. That order placed the children with their grandmother, set a visitation schedule for the parents and children, and required the parents to cooperate with the department in case planning, complete certain assessments, and participate in domestic violence counseling. In today’s episode we’ll hear from county department social workers and attorney, a parent attorney, a child’s guardian ad litem, and district court judges to learn about the next steps that happen in the case – both in court and out of court. You’ll be introduced to five new terms: case planning, reasonable efforts, kinship and nonkinship placements, review hearing, and permanency planning.
In this episode, through interviews with district court judges, a county department of social services attorney and a parent attorney, we will talk about the hearing where the court decides if the child is neglected and what happens afterwards.
In today’s episode, through interviews with county department social workers and attorney, the state Guardian ad litem program, a parent attorney, and district court judges, we’ll discuss how the county department responds to a report of suspected neglect and when court action is needed. This area of the law has its own language, and you’ll learn about some new terms today, including screening in, screening out, assessment, filing a petition, and non-secure custody.
In today’s episode, through interviews with homeless shelter providers and district court judges, we’ll talk about what homelessness looks like, whether it’s neglect and whether you need to make a report to county department.