Talking to social workers, court investigators and GAL’s is stressful. They are looking at you like you are on stage and looking to see if you are a loving, stable and thoughtful parent.
A few hints are:
- keep focus on children not your or significant other or ex
- if you need to make focus on problems bring up that ” child is disappointed with lack of phone calls” not ” I am disappointed with not getting a phone call”
- Do not bad mouth, social worker, attorney, judge or people involved in court action, if at all possible
- if there is an issue or problem, at least acknowledge the issue even if you disagree with the truth of it
- Put child first and focus on what child needs over everything else
- Do not tell child what to say or not say prior to child meeting with evaluator
- bring picture of child if meeting is out of your home
- If at home, make sure clean, pictures of child, children’s artwork, report card etc. Expect to have your kitchen looked at to make sure food etc. Do not have alcohol in home. If prescription medication make sure in a safe place, ideally a safe.
- Be polite and calm. Even if you think the evaluator is against you, be polite. Offer a glass of water, to take coat etc
- If child is not living with you, have a plan if child is to return home and how it will work. For example of working full time, how will arrangements be made for child care, transportation etc