Monthly Archives: January 2019

Changes to DCF Foster Care Review Process

CAFL attorneys should have received an e-mail from Virginia Peel on January 23, 2019 notifying them that DCF has implemented changes to its foster care review process. These changes include e-mailing attorneys notice of reviews. If you did not receive Virginia’s e-mail, you need to contact her ASAP to ensure that you receive notice of future reviews. Virginia can be reached at virginia.peel@state.ma.us. A copy of her e-mail, and the letter from DCF General Counsel Andrew Rome she references in it, are available here. The written foster care review policy isn’t finished quite yet. But it’s really important that you understand what’s different before you go to a review. For example; DCF has eliminated ratings – full, partial, or insufficient – for task compliance. Instead, the review panel will determine whether each person “demonstrated the desired behavioral changes.” Virginia’s e-mail includes a link to four brief training videos about the new foster care review process. You can watch them here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLF2PqsUUKpjh5I27AQmhd9Vh6UGClHjzE. Additionally, Carmen Andrews and Linda Silva in the Fall River CAFL office transcribed the third and fourth videos – “Participate in a Foster Care Review” and “Follow-Up on a Foster Care Review” – which explain how reviews are supposed to be conducted and DCF’s responsibilities following reviews, respectively. The transcripts are available here. Thank you, Carmen and Linda! Stay tuned – we will let you know when the new foster care review policy is available.

Updated Foster Care Review Determination Questions

DO YOU WANT TO HELP PROTECT THE CIVIL RIGHTS OF PEOPLE FACING GUARDIANSHIP PETITIONS? APPLY TO JOIN THE MENTAL HEALTH LITIGATION DIVISION TRIAL PANEL!

The Mental Health Litigation Division (MHLD) of the Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS) is now accepting applications to its spring 2019 Guardianship Certification Training.

A guardianship is a substantial deprivation of liberty – under guardianship the person can no longer legally make their own decisions about many issues,including where to live, what medical treatment to accept or refuse, and other decisions adults make every day. Because of this significant infringement on civil rights, respondents are entitled to court-appointed counsel.

There is a great need for certified attorneys to represent these clients and it is rewarding work. Effective advocacy by attorneys can make a real difference in these cases. You will get client contact, litigation experience, and the satisfaction of knowing that the some of the most vulnerable people in the Commonwealth had a lawyer to fight for their rights.

This certification training will be held at Community Legal Aid in Worcester on March 18, 19, 20 (8:45 a.m. to 5:00 each day) and April 10, 2019.  April 10th will be mock trials (schedule to be determined depending on the number of accepted applicants).

Please download the application from our website at :  https://www.publiccounsel.net/wp-content/uploads/MHLD-Panel-Application-1.9.19.pdf

The deadline to apply is February 19, 2019. Applicants to the program must be accepted before registering. The cost of the training is $125.00.

For more information about the Mental Health Litigation Division Guardianship Certification Training, please contact Miriam Ruttenberg at (617) 910-5782, mruttenberg@publiccounsel.net or Paulette Marie at (617) 910-5844, pmarie@publiccounsel.net.

Committee Meeting Dates – CY 2019

All meetings will begin at 5:30 p.m. and will be held on the third Wednesday of the month except where noted.

January 15, 2019 (Tuesday starting at 11:00 a.m.)
February 20, 2019 February 26, 2019 (Tuesday)
March 20, 2019
April 17, 2019
May 15, 2019
June 19, 2019
July 17, 2019
August – NO MEETING
September 18, 2019
October 16, 2019
November 20, 2019
December 18, 2019