Thursday, March 26, 2020

Latest Mass. Juvenile Courts COVID-19 Order

The Massachusetts Juvenile Courts are still closed due to COVID-19. Here is a link to Standing Order 3-20 laying out how they are handling new filings and emergencies:

Juvenile Court Standing Order 3-20 | Court Operations Under the Exigent Circumstances Created by COVID-19

Friday, March 20, 2020

Working From Home - Making Homes Safe

While schools have been closed and many service providers have resorted to virtual interactions my workload has decreased significantly.

Unfortunately that doesn't mean every one is safe from the things that bring clients to me or to the attention of caring professionals. RenĂ©e Graham highlights Suffolk County District Attorney Rachel Rollins' concerns that home may not be a safe place for victims of domestic violence or emotional, physical, or sexual abuse in this article:

When home isn’t the safest place to be

My career has been devoted to helping parents navigate the Massachusetts child protective services (CPS) system; repesenting them in cases when they have been reported to the Department of Children and Families (DCF) for suspicion of abusing or neglecting their children (51A), helping get their children back when DCF has taken custody (51B(c)) and filed care and protection (C&P) or termination of parental rights (TPR) cases, and more. Zealous advocacy on behalf of accused parents and other caregivers does not prevent me from recognizing that there are children who need protection, parents who need help to make life better for their children, and caregivers and domestic partners who do abuse and neglect their partners or children in their care.

We need to follow DA Rollins' advice and find ways to increase social connections, be a community of caring, and be lifelines for one another even as we maintain physical distance to prevent the spread of the virus.

Be safe, stay healthy, and be a good neighbor.