CHARLESTON -- A new video that guides parents through the child abuse and neglect court process will be shown at a press conference at 2 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 18, in the Supreme Court Chamber.
Chief Justice Robin Jean Davis, Justice Margaret L. Workman, and Judge Gary L. Johnson of the Twenty-Eighth Judicial Circuit (Nicholas County) will speak at the event, which will be held in honor of National Adoption Month.
"The Time is Now" video takes parents through the child abuse and neglect process under Chapter 49 of the W.Va. Code. The video explains how the court system and professionals involved make reasonable efforts to work with parents and reunite families.
It emphasizes that time is of the essence, and parents' rights may be terminated if in their children's best interests.
National Adoption Month celebrates adoptions of children from foster care and raises awareness of the more than 1,000 children who are waiting for permanent homes in West Virginia and about 115,000 children waiting nationally.
The video was paid for by a Court Improvement Program grant from the Administration for Children and Families and matching funds from the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia.
On Saturday, Nov. 20, Johnson also will participate in an Adoption Day celebration at the Clay Center in Charleston. Johnson is chairman of the West Virginia Court Improvement Program oversight board, which creates, identifies, and promotes initiatives that make the court system more responsible and efficient in achieving timely, safe, permanent placements for children that ensure their well-being and preserve due process for families.
At the Clay Center, National Adoption Day participants can enter the museum for free between 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. From 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. there will be speakers, refreshments, and projects for children. At 6 p.m. there will be a candlelight ceremony outside.
That event is organized collaboratively by the Supreme Court, Mission WV, the West Virginia Bureau for Children and Families and other groups.