Dependency Court Improvement Panel - Quality Hearing Workgroup

Florida's Dependency Court Improvement Panel has convened the Quality Hearing Workgroup to develop a plan to review and continuously improve the quality of dependency court proceedings. The Workgroup has developed this survey to obtain feedback on the current state of dependency hearings in Florida. Your input is important and appreciated. 

Please base your answers on the where you predominantly practice. If you practice in multiple counties/circuits, you may complete additional surveys for those jurisdictions.

Question Title

* 1. What is your role within a dependency hearing?

Question Title

* 2. To which circuit and county do your answers to this survey apply to?

Question Title

* 3. How often are the following parties typically present (when applicable) at dependency hearings?

  Never Rarely Sometimes Often Always/Almost Always Unknown/I Don't Know
Mothers
Fathers
Child(ren)
Attorney for Parents
Attorney for the Department
Attorney ad Litem
Foster Parents
Non-Relative Caregivers
Relative Caregivers
Guardian ad litem
Service Providers
Tribal Representative

Question Title

* 4. When parents are present, how often does the presiding officer...

  Never Rarely Sometimes Often Always/Almost Always Unknown/I Don't Know
Allow parents opportunity to be heard?
Treat parents with respect?
Speak directly to the parent?
Address the parent by name?
Explain the hearing process to the parent?
Explain legal timelines to the parent?
Ask questions of the parent?
Ask if the parent has any questions?

Question Title

* 5. When youth are present, how often does the presiding officer...

  Never Rarely Sometimes Often Always/Almost Always Unknown/I Don't Know
Allow the youth the opportunity to be heard?
Speak directly to the youth?
Address the youth by name?
Explain the hearing process?
Explain the legal timelines?
Ask if the youth has any questions?

Question Title

* 6. When a foster parent/caregiver is present, how often does the presiding officer...

  Never Rarely Sometimes Often Always/Almost Always Unknown/I Don't Know
Speak directly to the foster parent/caregiver?
Address the foster parent/caregiver by name?
Ask if the foster parent/caregiver has any questions?
Treat the foster parent/caregiver with respect?
Allow the foster parent/caregiver to provide recommendations?

Question Title

* 7. When the guardian ad litem is present, how often does the presiding officer...

  Never Rarely Sometimes Often Always/Almost Always Unknown/I Don't Know
Speak directly to the guardian ad litem?
Address the guardian ad litem by name?
Ask if the guardian ad litem has any questions?
Treat the guardian ad litem with respect?
Allow the guardian ad litem to provide recommendations?

Question Title

* 8. When the case manager is present, how often does the presiding officer...

  Never Rarely Sometimes Often Always/Almost Always Unknown/I Don't Know
Speak directly to the case manager?
Address the case manager by name?
Ask if the case manager has any questions?
Treat the case manager with respect?
Allow the case manager to provide recommendations?

Question Title

* 9. When tribal representative is present, how often does the presiding officer...

  Never Rarely Sometimes Often Always/Almost Always Unknown/I Don't Know
Speak directly to the tribal representative?
Address the tribal representative by name?
Ask if the tribal representative has any questions?
Treat the tribal representative with respect?
Allow the tribal representative to provide recommendations?

Question Title

* 10. How often are the following items discussed at applicable dependency hearings?

  Never Rarely Sometimes Often Always/Almost Always Unknown/I Don't Know Not Applicable
Permanent plan for the child
Mother's progress on alleviating concerns
Mother's compliance with case plan
Status of mother's visitation
Frequency of mother's visitation
Barriers to mother's visitation
Father's progress on alleviating concerns
Father's compliance with case plan
Status of father's visitation
Frequency of father's visitation
Barriers to father's visitation
Status of sibling visitation
Frequency of sibling visitation
Barriers to sibling visitation
Additional services needed (parents or child)
Barriers to achieving permanency
Identified steps to achieve final permanency
Efforts to finalize permanency plan
Conditions for return
Financial support of the children
Possibility of kinship/relative placement
Sibling placement
Current placement meets family's needs
Least restrictive placement
Anticipated or recent placement move
Child - Education placement stability
Child - Educational needs
Child - Physical health/development
Child - Mental health needs
Child - Transitional planning
Child - General well-being
Trauma/ACEs

Question Title

* 11. In regards to reports submitted to the court...

  Never Rarely Sometimes Often Always/Almost Always Unknown/I Don't Know Not applicable
Are agency reports submitted timely?
Are agency reports provided timely to all parties?
Are agency reports up to date?
Are other reports to the court timely (e.g., substance use assessment, mental health)?

Question Title

* 12. In regards to findings on the record, are...

  Never Rarely Sometimes Often Always/Almost Always Unknown/I Don't Know Not Applicable
Reasonable Efforts findings made verbally on the record?
presiding officers making a finding of no reasonable efforts when appropriate?
presiding officers setting the date of the next hearing on the record?
inquiries made regarding the parents' schedules of preferences?

Question Title

* 13. In regards to court processes...

  Never Rarely Sometimes Often Always/Almost Always Unknown/I Don't Know Not Applicable
Are written orders timely?
Are written orders clear?
Are court interpreters provided when needed?
Are all appropriate parties receiving adequate notice of hearings?
Is time-certain calendaring utilized?

Question Title

* 14. In regards to the courtroom environment...

  Yes No
Are trauma-informed practices used in the courtroom during hearings?
Is there sufficient private space for attorneys to speak with clients outside the courtroom?
Are there family-friendly waiting areas available for parents/caregivers/children?

Question Title

* 15. Who should be present at a dependency hearing?

Question Title

* 16. If the child is of sufficient age and cognitive ability, and their presence has not been waived because it was found to be in their best interest to not attend court, do you feel the child's presence adds value to dependency hearings?

Question Title

* 17. Do you think the presence of foster parents/caregivers adds value to dependency hearings?

Question Title

* 18. What are some best practices that occur in dependency hearings?

Question Title

* 19. What is not going well in dependency hearings?

Question Title

* 20. Do you have anything else to add regarding the quality of dependency hearings in Florida?

Question Title

* 21. If you are willing to be contacted about your responses, please provide your contact information

0 of 21 answered
 

T