We are still pretty new to this adventure (on our second placement) and I just got back from the initial 72 hour hearing for the kids just placed with us a couple days ago. I went to the hearing for our first placement as well, but that mom had been in the system for over a year, and it was a pretty quick in/out deal.
This was the mom's first appearance. It was pretty sad; both seeing the filth and neglect that the kids were in, which was obviously much worse than the parent pretended, but also the emotional state of the mom, who's situation is just a disaster. The social workers seemed surprised but pleased I was there; I understand they don't see foster parents often. I was surprised by the gratitude from the rest of the family there (if not the mom) for caring for the kids. They are obviously concerned about them.
I don't know if I will always go to hearings, but I wanted to go to get an idea of how that end of things worked. I was glad I went, now I am prepared for these guys to leave us at some point since at the time of placement the social worker did not know of any family, but now it looks like there will be family for them to (eventually) go to. Glad I was prepped for that news.
It was certainly a little awkward sitting in the waiting room with the family (social workers were in court for another hearing). Luckily, mom got there just in time (I was early) and was taken in to talk with the social worker. While her family was appreciative of my being there to reassure them that the kids were OK, I don't think she would have been - in her current state.
Anyway, wondering how many foster parents on here go to court hearings.