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Advocate Tip: Changes to Staffings/Permanency Planning Meetings (PPMs)

Recent changes at Child Protective Services have been implemented that impact the frequency and location of the Permanency Planning Meetings (PPMs) held during the course of the CPS legal case.  

Initial PPM

The Initial PPM in a legal case takes place after the 262 hearing has been held and CPS has been granted Temporary Managing Conservatorship of the children. In an effort to reduce the amount of time parents must wait before beginning services, the majority of initial PPMs are being held immediately following the 262 hearing. Parents that are present at the hearing are able to meet with CPS staff and discuss some of the services they will be asked to complete. All of the attorneys are asked to attend the staffing if they are available. The meetings are taking place at the courthouse in conference rooms located right outside the judge’s courtroom. If parents are not present for the hearing or there is another reason why a staffing should not take place immediately, CPS will schedule a staffing to be held prior to the 60 Day Hearing.

Subsequent PPMs

Prior to the first Permanency Hearing, an additional PPM should be scheduled by CPS. At this staffing, the caseworker, parents, caregivers, and attorneys are able to provide an update of the case. Everyone in attendance will have an opportunity to discuss the progress of the case and what the goals are for the children and family. These staffings will take place at one of the CPS offices and all of the legal parties are invited to attend. At these staffings, caregivers should also be invited to attend so that they can provide updated information regarding the children and any concerns or needs they may have.  

Special Staffings

One of the biggest changes being made to staffings is the implementation of Special Staffings. These are court-ordered by the judge and are typically scheduled prior to the Merits/Trial. These staffings are being utilized as a way to try and resolve case issues without a formal mediation. Since the staffings are court ordered, all of the attorneys are required to attend the staffing. Parents, the caseworker, and the CASA volunteer are also requested to be present for the staffing. Special Staffings are being held at the courthouse in conference rooms just outside the judge’s courtrooms.

  1. True or False. Attorneys are required to attend all staffings.
  2. When does the initial staffing take place?
  3. Describe the purpose of each type of staffing discussed.

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