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July 2002Vol. 3, No. 6Caregivers and the Courts: Improving Court Decisions Affecting Children in Foster Care

Deihl, Regina M.; Martin, Maria; Nunez, Sandra. Center for Families, Children, and the Courts, San Francisco, CA. 2002. 180 pp. Available online for download at no cost.

The Center for Families, Children, and the Courts (CFCC) and the National Center for Youth Law (NCYL) conducted this research study to better understand how training in the dependency court process affects caregivers' knowledge and attitudes about participating in court hearings, and the likelihood that they will choose to participate. In addition, the study began to explore in a qualitative way which factors determine how information from caregivers is currently used, or could be used, in decision making, and what effects caregiver participation might have on the well-being of children in care.

The report is available online: Website:

Executive summary:

An educational booklet, Caregivers and the Courts: A Primer on Juvenile Dependency Proceedings for California Foster Parents and Relative Caregivers, is available in English and Spanish to assist caregivers who wish to participate in juvenile court hearings. The booklet provides information about the dependency court process, laws relating to caregiver participation in court hearings, types of information the court may consider helpful, and how to decide whether a written report or court attendance is more effective. Tips for caregivers called to testify in court, the meaning of de facto parent status, and local court culture are included.

Caregiver's Primer:

Caregiver's Primer (Spanish):

For a paperback copy, contact:

Center for Families, Children, and the Courts
Attn: Caregivers and the Courts
455 Golden Gate Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94102-3660
Phone: 415-865-7739
Fax: 415-865-7217