Foster kids' right to attend hearings has limits

Posted at 6:29 AM, Sep 25, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-25 09:29:17-04
A new court ruling says foster children's right under Arizona law to attend court hearings in their cases can be trumped by other considerations.
The state Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that a judge was allowed to consider a foster child's best interests when deciding whether to permit the child to attend and testify at hearings on terminating parental rights of the child's mother and father.
The child's therapist said that seeing the mother would be detrimental to the child's stability, and a psychologist said attending the hearing would cause the child to regress.
The Court of Appeals said judges must make case-by-case decisions on whether children can testify as witnesses in termination cases and that judges may weigh conflicting rights and interests of the parents and children.