CHARLESTON -- The Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia is co-sponsoring a free workshop entitled "Relatives as Parents" from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, March 27, for grandparents, foster parents, attorneys, social workers, and all interested people.

The workshop is open to the public, but pre-registration is required and capped at 100 participants. Continuing education credits have been approved for attorneys and social workers.

The workshop will take place at Christ Church United Methodist, 1221 Quarrier Street, Charleston. Lunch and child care up to age 12 will be provided, and members of the media are welcome to cover this event.

Preregistration for the workshop and childcare must be made by Friday, March 19. To register, call Mission West Virginia at 1-866-225-5698, or e-mail Laura Lou Harbert at

Eleventh Family Court Circuit Judge Mike Kelly will speak about West Virginia grandparent visitation and minor guardianship law. Joanne M. Brown, a former juvenile and family law judge in California, will discuss what the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 means to families.

Brown now works with the National Child Welfare Resource Center on Legal and Judicial Issues.

Other sponsors include Frameworks of Mission West Virginia, the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, Legal Aid of West Virginia, the American Bar Association, West Virginia University Extension Services, and the West Virginia Bureau of Senior Services.

Another "Relatives as Parents" workshop will take place May 22, 2010, at the YWCA in Clarksburg.

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