B. Pros of Involving Children and Youth in Court Proceedings

There have been many studies by the ABA as well as Court Improvement Programs around the country on this singular issue, and there is simply no question that foster youth repeatedly express the desire to be involved in decisions about their lives.[118] Being involved gives the youth a sense of control, helps them understand the process, and direct contact with the court benefits the judge and the youth. Children are often told that “the judge makes the decisions.” Other reasons: attorneys are not always reliable and informed advocates; hearing quality is better, hearings can present an opportunity for visitation, foster parents and relatives caring for the child often attend because they bring the child to the hearing.