For Parents / Families

For Parents / Families

The Model Court supports safety, stability, permanency, and well-being for families in Livingston County.

The Model Court is based on the NCJFCJ principle that every child and young person should be reared in a safe, permanent, and nurturing family, where love, self-control, concern for others, and responsibility for the consequences of one’s actions are experienced and taught as fundamental values for a successful life. Every child in need of judicial oversight should have access to fair, effective, and timely justice.

Court process: For parents involved in the Child Protection Court System, a Parent Information Guide is available. (link) Parents should be able to use this Guide as a tool throughout the system. Parents can also draw on resources that are available through DHS.

Domestic Violence: Many families involved in Juvenile Court have a history of domestic violence. Parents who have been victims of domestic violence should know that they have supports available in the community. For more information about LACASA, Livingston County’s Domestic Violence organization.

Parents who have perpetrated domestic violence should know that the community supports efforts toward positive change, but that domestic violence must stop. Domestic Violence involves not just physical violence, but involves a person abusing a spouse, dating partner, or parent of their children, because the abuser believes the abuser has a right to control the other person. The abuse usually is carried out over time in what is called a pattern of abuse. The pattern of abuse may involve physical, sexual, emotional, financial, and other forms of abuse. LACASA has a Domestic Abuse Intervention Program, which is a group that lasts 40 weeks. Perpetrators of domestic violence are expected to complete this program and demonstrate that they have stopped all abusive behaviors.

Legal help: In Child Protection cases, parents are entitled to be represented by an attorney. If a parent cannot afford an attorney the Court will appoint an attorney to represent the parent. If the attorney is to be appointed, the Court will select the attorney from a list of attorneys who receive Court appointments in Livingston County Juvenile Court. These attorneys are experienced in practice representing parents and also children in child protection cases.

To find an attorney who practices in Livingston County, you can contact the Livingston County Bar Association at:

You can also contact Legal Services of South Central Michigan at:
Other help: Livingston County Human Services Collaborative Body

Getting involved: Parents interested in getting involved in the Model Court may be interested in the Parent Involvement Institute.