The child welfare system is a large, complex system with many stakeholders that work together to improve the lives of children and families.
In the grand scheme of the child welfare system, a relatively small percentage of cases require court oversight and supervision. Many families receive voluntary services from a variety of professionals, and, as a result, the large majority of cases served by the agency are never seen by the courts.
Many professionals who work with children rarely get to directly observe the court's impact on the child welfare system. As a result, the court system can appear convoluted and confusing.
The complexities of working with people make it difficult to provide all the possible scenarios that may be involved in a court case. The following is meant to be a brief overview of the court process to aid system professionals in their understanding of Dependency Court. Click each link for detailed information:
- Entry into the Dependency Court System
- Adjudicatory Hearing
- Disposition of Dependent Children
- Termination of Parental Rights
- Termination of Court Supervision
Even if they have not been removed from home, children can still be placed under the supervision of the court.