I spoke the the GAL assigned to Precious recently. The GAL (Guardian Ad Litem) is the person who speaks for the best interests of the child in court. In my jurisdiction, this person is also always an attorney. She is the same GAL who was previously assigned to BB. Here, as long as attorneys are still practicing in Juvenile Court, they get reassigned to any new case or reopened case for a family they previously represented, whether it is the GAL or an attorney for a parent.
When I went to the first court hearing for Precious, the GAL was stuck in another courtroom, so she was texting a substitute attorney who stood in with confirmation of what she wanted to say. (Love technology.) I guess the first hearing in this case was so routine, she was okay without being present. The down side was that I didn't get to talk with her.
So, I spoke to her this week. I learned two new things about this case:
1. Her position to CPS when she was assigned was that Precious' case should immediately procede to TPR, since one of the grounds for severance is a previous TPR within two years. Her opinion was that mom has not changed anything since the first TPR; we shouldn't even waste time. She was overruled by CPS, who wanted to give mom a change, albeit a short one. Unfortunately, mom seems to be not participating just like with BB.
2. By CPS standards, my home is considered a kinship home for Precious because her brother is a permanent member of our family. CPS will not look for another placment (assuming reunification fails) unless I say that I am not willing to adopt Precious. A relative can request to be a placement, but CPS's position is that they would prefer Precious stay with her brother. Wow! The child actually gets preference over an adult relative. I was actually shocked when she told me this, because I've never heard of this priority before. I guess it is only relevant if the first sibling's adoption is finalized.
I've got some serious thinking and praying to do!