In juvenile law, there are a lot of people involved in the case. It’s important to know who does what, so you know what to expect and who to contact for specific information. Additionally, it’s important to know how your Case Navigator™ differs from others involved in the case.
Following is a general list of people you may encounter, and what their role is in your case.
|How is a Case Navigator™ different from:|
|DHS||The county attorney represents DHS. The Case Navigator™ works with the parents, who are represented by a private attorney (who may be court appointed).
DHS provides services and creates the case plan, which determines what the parents must do to have the children returned to his/her home. The Case Navigator™ does not request, provide, or require services, nor does s/he assist in creating the case plan.
|CASA||CASAs are trained volunteers who work with one family at a time. They advocate on behalf of the child, and observe and report their observations.
The Case Navigator™ works with multiple clients, and makes no report to the court or DHS unless asked to do so by the court or the client’s attorney. The Case Navigator™ works with the client on procedural matters only.
|FSRP||FSRP workers typically assist with visitation (transportation and/or supervision) and parenting issues.
Your Case Navigator™ does not assist with visitation or parenting issues.
|Attorneys||Your attorney provides you with legal advice and representation in court and Family Team Meetings.
Your Case Navigator™ does not provide legal advice or representation of any kind. Your Case Navigator™ provides assistance with procedural issues.
|Parent Partners||Parent Partners work through DHS to provide mentoring to parents in juvenile (CINA) court. They have been where you are now, and have successfully been reunified with their children.
Your Case Navigator™ is not a mentor, and does not have the same perspective as a Parent Partner; his/her perspective, while not as personal, may be broader than that of a Parent Partner. The role of a Case Navigator™ is to guide you through the procedure and help you stay on track with what you are being asked to do by DHS and the courts.
|GAL||The Guardian ad Litem, or GAL, is an attorney who represents the legal interests of the child(ren) who is involved in the juvenile (CINA) court.
Your Case Navigator™ does not work with the child(ren)—s/he works with the parent. And the Case Navigator™ does not provide legal advice or representation.