Clients work to persuade me that the client is ready for change. Having the right words is the first step toward convincing a judge that change is indeed on the horizon. Unfortunately, words alone will not shift a judge’s perspective.
That a client can see and understand the client needs to change is groundbreaking for the client. Judges, prosecutors, CPS case managers, and defense attorneys hear stories of change daily without any follow-through or accomplishment. Many people working in the system become cynical and believe that no one can change.
The promise of change must be accompanied by action. What is the plan for change? How has the client taken action on this plan? Applied for and enrolled in drug rehabilitation, started therapy for survivors of domestic violence, established a relationship with a therapist and doctor to treat mental health issues, created a routine of attending AA/NA meetings for substance abuse because that’s the only help you can afford.
Words are not enough. Make a plan. Work the plan. A lawyer cannot change a client’s behavior. The prettiest words will not persuade when the words lack force and action. Documentation from these resources, the people providing services, supports the story of change.
CPS/Foster Care cases have plans ordered by the judge. Follow the case plan. Accomplish the steps.
Work with a lawyer to create a plan that will convince a judge that you are ready for change. Follow your case plan, if you have a CPS case.
Actions by a client show the court that change has happened.