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July 2000Vol. 1, No. 5California Guides Parents Through Dependency Courts

Two pamphlets issued by the California Judicial Council guide parents through the dependency systems when their child has been taken into protective custody.

Parents receive the first pamphlet, Information for Parents, when their child is removed from their home. The pamphlet describes general reasons for the investigation and removal of a child. The pamphlet also explains the role of the social worker, discusses how the child will be placed in care, and gives parents instructions about what to do next.

The second pamphlet, The Dependency Court: How it Works, is given to parents at the initial hearing. The pamphlet explains what it means if your child becomes a dependent of the court and next steps in the process, including:

  • hiring a lawyer to represent the parents
  • holding an initial hearing
  • developing a case plan for parents and child
  • developing a concurrent plan in the event child is not returned
  • developing a permanency plan if parental rights are terminated.
Space is provided in both pamphlets to fill in information specific to the case and hearing dates.

These pamphlets can be found on the website of the California Judicial Council at: Select "Juvenile" from the pull-down menu. The relevant forms are JV-050 and JV-055.

Related Item

In this issue: "California Courts Produce Activity Book for Kids" (Resources)