practice area

Family law


5 - 10


Knoxville, TN


Paperwork as a lifeline

Sometimes paperwork is more than just a tedious legal task—in Juvenile Magistrate Robin Gunn’s line of work, it’s the lifeline for removing children from dangerous home situations.

An average of three times each week, Gunn and the other dependence and neglect magistrates from Knox County, Tennessee interrupt proceedings, clear the courtroom, and take testimony by telephone of a Child Protective Services investigator to place children in foster care. These cases revolve around children in extreme circumstances, in which they simply cannot wait for the petition to be prepared by an attorney from the Department of Child Services.

Filling out forms manually

While Knox County’s magistrates have always done everything in their power to prepare these orders as quickly as possible, the process was time-consuming; the magistrates would fill out these blank forms by hand in a process that could take from ten to thirty minutes, often requiring additional time to prepare additional paperwork for DCS or to request the support of law enforcement to assist in retrieving the children from dangerous situations.  

I used a Woodpecker form today to place a child in foster care, and it was by far the fastest I have ever been able to do so.

By using Woodpecker to create a Microsoft Word document template, Gunn is placing at-risk children into foster care faster than ever before. The template she created simplifies the process to create an order and produce all necessary documentation, allowing the dependence and neglect magistrates to produce all documentation at once.

Time is everything

Cutting paperwork time means more than improving a lawyer’s workflow in emergency situations—particularly when children are involved. Child Services prefers to intercept at-risk children when they are away from their parents to reduce the trauma they could experience if exposed to their parents’ reactions. This means that it’s best to pick up the children before school ends or before a suspecting parent attempts to delay the removal of the child into foster care.

We’re proud to support the magistrates of Knox County in their incredibly important work of helping their community’s most vulnerable children.


Is your firm looking for a way to simplify your document management and preparation procedures without investing in expensive or complicated software? Download a free trial of Woodpecker Pro to see how our Microsoft Word add-in can simplify your workload today.


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