Pennsylvania's child dependency system shall Protect Children who:

  • are without proper parental care or control, subsistence, without education as required by law or other control necessary for that child's physical health, mental health, emotional health or moral development.

  • have been placed for adoption in violation of law;.

  • have been abandoned by their parents, guardian or other custodian.

  • are without a parent, guardian or legal custodian.

  • are habitually and without justification truant from school.

  • have committed an act of habitual disobedience of the reasonable and lawful commands of their parent, guardian or other custodian and are ungovernable and found to be in need of care, treatment, or supervision.

  • are both under the age of ten years and have committed a delinquent act.

  • formerly under the jurisdiction of the court or on informal adjustment who commit an ungovernable act.

  • are born to a parent whose parental rights regarding another child have been involuntary terminated within three years immediately preceding their date of birth and the conduct of the parent poses a risk to their health, safety or welfare.

  • Recognize and address the trauma a child experiences as a result of abuse and neglect.

  • Recognize and address the trauma a child experiences as a result of placement.

  • Ensure that "reasonable services" are provided to parents or other caregivers prior to removal, if possible.

  • When placement is required to ensure child safety, first and foremost, make all reasonable steps to immediately locate a safe, kinship care option, preferably within the child's community.

  • Utilize shelter and congregate care facilities only when the child's immediate physical and emotional needs require such care.

  • Ensure that the voice of the child is heard at each stage of the process.

  • Regard child safety, well-being and timely permanency as the shared responsibility of those within the system and the community.

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