What is family court?
Family Court is the process that ensures that a single judge will hear all cases that involve members of the same family. This way the judge can make well informed decisions about the family, and the participants don’t have to repeat personal information for each different judge.
How does the family court coordinate Human Services?
When a judge decides to assign a family to Family Court, a meeting is soon held with many service agencies in the community. These agencies are called the FAST team:
The FAST team will help decide if there may be new ways to support the family to stay together in a productive way. If they agree, a family treatment team will meet with the family to develop a new plan that is designed to help the whole family use community resources for their benefit.
Will this change the outcome of my court case?
In many cases, it will.
One purpose of this program is to keep families together, so long as they are making progress toward reaching the goals that have been defined. Another purpose is to reduce the number of new cases that come to the court. If the treatment plan is effective, and if new cases are not being filed, this information may help to keep the children at home with their parents, as well as promote independence from the court system.
How can my family participate?
Anyone can ask the court to review your case. It could be your counselor, case worker, attorney or teacher, or you may contact the Family Court Advocate directly at the address / phone listed below.
You will need to sign a waiver of confidentiality. Any of the referral agents or your attorney can provide this to the family court advocate.
You will be advised of the outcome of the FAST team meeting, and your involvement will be needed for the family treatment team planning session. This plan is designed to work with your participation. It is your family, and we believe you know the best way to have your family regain strength and independence.
Who can tell me more?
Family Court Advocate
1164 NW Bond Street
Bend, Oregon 97701
(541) 388-5300, extension 261