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Saturday, November 19, 2011

NEW JERSEY DIVISION OF YOUTH AND FAMILY SERVICES VS. D.P. AND O.B. IN THE MATTER OF V.B. A-4087-10T4

NEW JERSEY DIVISION OF YOUTH AND FAMILY SERVICES VS.

D.P. AND O.B. IN THE MATTER OF V.B.

A-4087-10T4 11-03-11

We reviewed resource parents' appeal of an order denying

their motion to intervene in a best interests hearing, which

considered whether to remove the twenty-month old child from the

resource home, her primary home since birth, or to place her

with a relative. On appeal, the resource parents assert the

trial court erroneously denied intervention, disregarding their

status as "indispensible parties" and their standing as the

child's "psychological parents."

We affirmed, concluding the right to notice of proceedings

and to inform the court granted to resource parents by the

Legislature in N.J.S.A. 9:6-8.19a, does not impart a legal

interest or an expectation to engage experts, demand discovery,

appear in the action, or cross-examine witnesses. We are

convinced the limited and temporary character of foster care

remains the legislative policy of this State. The trial court

fully abided all statutory provisions governing a resource

parent's participation in litigation involving a child entrusted

to their care by the Division, granting the resource parents all

process they were due.