Seeking expert testimony is a sign of strength. A personal relationship with a caring professional is proven clinically effective.
I believe that I can help with your question.
Because she is a minor DCFS would immediately be called and the girl removed either to foster care, or to her aunt's if the aunt if receptive to taking her in.
The school would not take a role in this, but DCFS would probably contact them, as their might be an interruption in school attendance, especially if she was placed outside of the area.
DCFS might not be aware of the girls plight, as her mother may have kept her beneath the radar and school authorities might not know that the girl is in a homeless shelter with her mom.
After the suicide attempt, DCFS would be on top of this case immediately.
I hope this helps. I will be looking for your novel. I am also a writer, just published a book on teaching children grammar and good living through chants and movement (on amazon.com as Rhythm 'n Rhymers), and am working on (simultaneously) a book of song lyrics, a futuristic spy mystery. and a Broadway musical. Yes - very eclectic mix.
I wish you great success with your novel.
Elliott, MAE, LPCC, NCC, CCMHC
Thanks for your help. I'm glad to have snagged an expert who's also a writer. Your Rhythm & Rhymers book sounds interesting. I'm a volunteer language arts teacher (to adults) at a homeless shelter and I'm wondering if your book might be helpful. I'll check it out.
So just a few follow-up questions to my scenario:
The suicide attempt happens while the girl is in school. The mom was found with her wrists cut at the homeless shelter, so I'm assuming it would be the director of the homeless shelter who would call DCFS. And then the girl gets called to the office at school, where someone from DCFS is waiting? Would it be the rep from DCFS who would actually break the news to the girl? As I have the scene now, the mom's case manager at the homeless shelter has a close relationship to the girl, so it's the case manager who comes to the school to break the news (with someone from DCFS standing by). Is that something that might actually happen, or is that going against all the rules?
So just to be clear...
In my scenario, the girl IS at school when she gets the news. Would it most likely be the police who show up at the school to break the news, or would it be someone from DCFS, or perhaps both? Once she's in DCFS's hands, would they let her visit her mom in the hospital? Or if it's only the police who show up at the school, maybe the police would escort her to the hospital, where someone from DCFS is waiting?
By the way, I just ordered your book. I'm looking forward to seeing how I might implement it in my classes.