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Dependency Court Resource Facilitation Program


Program Description

The Dependency Court Resource Facilitation Program provides parents, case management staff, legal representatives, and others the opportunity to utilize the resources and services of a Dependency Court Resource Facilitator (DCRF) to aid in the timely and efficient progression of their case throughout Dependency Court proceedings.

The DCRF serves children and families involved in the Dependency Court process by providing a more positive and less adversarial intervention resource for case planning and time line compliance. The DCRF may be appointed to a case by a judge. However, parents, case management staff, Guardian Ad Litem (GAL), or legal representatives, may elect to use the services of the facilitator at any time to help ensure the successful fulfillment of case plan goals and time line compliance. The judges strongly urge all parties to utilize the services of the DCRF to assist in achieving permanency goals for children to ensure that every opportunity to achieve case plan goals and time line compliance has been offered to all parties.

Following referral to the DCRF for services, a Facilitation Status Meeting (FSM) will be scheduled, and all principal parties are required to attend. During the initial FSM, the DCRF will serve as a neutral facilitator to address procedural/process issues specific to case plan and time line compliance. It is anticipated that all FSM participants will agree on how to process in order to successfully complete case plan goals. However, if the FSM participants are unable to reach a unanimous agreement, an interim meeting will be set with the judge to seek their assistance. Following this meeting, the DCRF will continue to monitor the case as is necessary or desired.

Who May Refer Cases?

  • Parents
  • GAL
  • Custodians
  • Attorneys
  • Judges
  • Family Service Counselors

Who May Attend The Meeting?

  • Parents
  • Guardians Ad Litem
  • Custodians
  • Attorneys
  • Facilitator
  • Service Providers
  • Family Service
  • Counselors

Why Use The DCRF Program?

  • To help everyone know what tasks are expected in the case plan and complete them as quickly as possible
  • To help parents and FFN caseworkers talk about each other’s needs
  • To help parents reunify with their children quicker because case plans are done faster
  • To prevent orders to show why certain case plan tasks are not done after a long period of time
  • To make sure that the legislature’s goal of 12 months to permanency is achieved

What You Cannot Do At DCRF Status Meetings?

Finger point, accuse or blame others

What A DCRF Cannot Do?

  • Change any court order
  • Change tasks in the court ordered case plan
  • Offer legal advice
  • Talk to the judge about your case without you or your attorney present

If the Facilitation Status Meeting doesn’t work your case will be referred for an interim review meeting with the judge to seek his assistance in resolving the issue.

Sponsored by Lakeview Center and the State of Florida, Department of Children and Families