In an effort to create more positive outcomes for foster children, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania created the Office of Children and Families in the Courts (OCFC) within the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts (AOPC).
The OCFC's principal goal is to minimize the length of time that dependent children must spend in foster care or in other temporary living situations when they have been removed from their parents under court order as a result of abuse or neglect. The OCFC also aims to:
Reunite all children with their families in a safe and timely manner. All evidence suggests that the family is the best place for a child to be raised if at all possible. Our goal is not to take children away from their parents.
Expedite the adoption process for those children with the goal of adoption. The longer children stay in the system, the more damaging the experience can be to their development.
Increase the incidence of legal guardianship and enhance/expand ongoing permanent adult connections for those children who remain in the foster care system.
The OCFC is part of the AOPC's Judicial Programs Department and receives guidance and direction from the State Roundtable, chaired by Justice Max Baer, Pennsylvania Supreme Court liaison.