home for life leaflet by 6fk1zPh0


									a home for life
       Information for home for life parents when instructing a lawyer

Here is some information about instructing a lawyer to help with the legal
aspects of giving a child or young person a home for life. Child, Youth and
Family (CYF) is committed to supporting you to provide a home for life, which
includes support for you to instruct a lawyer.

You have a right to choose your own lawyer
If you already have a lawyer, ask if she or he works in the area of family law. If
not, ask if she or he can recommend a colleague. If you do not already have a
lawyer you could ask friends or family to recommend one, or ask the New
Zealand Law Society for a list of lawyers in your area who know about family

You also have a right to change your lawyer if you are unhappy but make sure
you discuss that with CYF first.

How to instruct a lawyer
The lawyer’s role is to advise you and represent your wishes in Court. As part
of standard service your lawyer should explain what she or he is doing in plain
English, and you should be able to ask questions.

When you first meet the lawyer take all relevant information with you:

       details about the child and her or his parents
       how long she or he has been in your care
       your social worker’s details
       Court orders
       other relevant documents and information from CYF
       the attached leaflet, Home for Life: Information for lawyers.

Anything you tell your lawyer is strictly confidential.

If you have any further questions about instructing a lawyer we recommend
you contact the New Zealand Law Society: www.lawsociety.org.nz

Service the lawyer provides

       meeting you and taking your instructions
       identifying legal and factual issues
       advising you about your options
       preparing the application for parenting orders and to discharge custody
        orders in favour of the chief executive
       filing and serving documents
       representing you at all court hearings
       reporting to you
CYF will reimburse your reasonable legal costs, usually no more than 10
hours of the lawyer’s time at a reasonable rate (usually the legal aid rate), plus
any expenses. CYF will not reimburse costs for more than 10 hours work
without prior agreement. You should agree how much the lawyer intends to
charge you before she or he does any work. Make it clear that the lawyer
must not charge more without your agreement. If you agree to pay more, and
have not had this agreed with CYF beforehand, CYF will not reimburse you
and you will have to pay the excess amount yourself. This is also outlined in
the attached information sheet for your lawyer.

If your lawyer says that it will cost more than was originally estimated, ask her
or him to prepare an updated estimate so that you can discuss the matter
with, and seek the agreement of, CYF before agreeing that the lawyer will do
the work. An example of why it may cost more is because the case is more
complicated than originally thought, or because the child’s parents are
contesting the application.

a home for life
                            Information for lawyers

Name of home for life parents       ___________________________________

Name of child or young person       ___________________________________

Child, Youth and Family (CYF), a service of the Ministry of Social
Development, is supporting these caregivers to give a child or young person a
home for life. That means that, among other things, CYF will reimburse the
reasonable cost of instructing a lawyer to:

      discharge custody orders in favour of the chief executive; and
      obtain parenting and guardianship orders in favour of the caregivers
       under the Care of Children Act 2004 (or under the Children, Young
       Persons, and Their Families Act 1989 in certain cases).

CYF anticipates that in a non-contested case this will take no more than 10
hours work. CYF considers that a reasonable rate will be approximately
equivalent to the relevant legal aid rate for the experience of the solicitor, or
the Lawyer for the Child rate if the solicitor is an approved Lawyer for the
Child. CYF will also reimburse the costs of reasonable disbursements.

For fees greater than this (for example in more complex or contested cases)
or for other types of instructions (for example defending proceedings brought
by the child’s birth parents) CYF will only reimburse the foster parents’ costs
where this has been specifically agreed in advance. CYF is likely to agree
where it is in the best interests of the child or young person.

If you believe that higher costs will be indicated, please prepare an estimate
for the caregivers so that they can obtain approval from CYF.

In all cases, please invoice the foster parents directly.

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