The Pennsylvania Dependency Benchbook Development Committee is chaired by the Honorable Kim Berkeley Clark, Administrative Judge, Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas. Judge Clark took over for the Honorable Chester Harhut following his retirement in 2012. Judge Harhut led the valiant effort of planning and constructing the 1st edition of the book. The workgroup continues to be comprised of a group of dedicated and thoughtful judges. This committee serves as the judge advisory group tasked with developing and editing content for the Dependency Benchbook. The committee can also provide feedback on judicial educational sessions, interpret court observation data, and approve the addition of workgroup materials into the Benchbook. Members of the Benchbook Committee can be found here.
The PA Dependency Benchbook is a comprehensive resource guide for judges to assist them in courtroom management, quality hearings, and topics important for judicial notice. Attorneys practicing in dependency and Children and Youth caseworkers find the guide helpful in understanding the expectations of the court. The 2nd edition of the Benchbook can be found here.
Following the creation of the Dependency Benchbook, the committee determined a need for a compilation of resources around social science topics applicable to many dependency proceedings. After considering many models for how to accomplish this, the committee determined to collect the most current research, summarize it and include the summary, documents if appropriate and links to further resources. A copy of the PA Dependency Benchbook Resource Companion can be found here.