SAN FRANCISCO—The Judicial Council adopted a resolution at its October 24 business meeting proclaiming November 2013 to be “Court Adoption and Permanency Month” in California. Working with the Governor, the Legislature, and local courts and court partners, the council seeks to develop procedures, programs, and resources that lead to swift, fair, and permanent resolutions for all children in foster care and dependency proceedings.
“All children deserve to be raised in safe, healthy, loving, permanent homes,” said Los Angeles Judge Michael Nash, who addressed the council during the meeting. Judge Nash, the presiding judge of the Los Angeles Juvenile Court, was instrumental in raising awareness of the importance of timely finalization of permanency when he organized the first Adoption Saturday in 1998. “There are many different paths to permanency—adoption, guardianship, family reunification—each of which, when achieved, marks a successful case resolution and exit from the foster care system. These successes can only happen if the juvenile courts and their partners keep permanency goals in sight from the beginning of every case and work toward them throughout the process."
Council Hears Personal Stories From Families
At its October 24 meeting, the council heard from three families who took different routes to permanency (see photos and captions or listen to audiocast: 38:53):
Local Court Adoption Events
In recognition of Court Adoption and Permanency Month, many California courts will sponsor special adoption events, including Adoption Saturdays and other locally designated days throughout the month. During the special events, judges, court staff, attorneys, and adoption agencies finalize adoptions of children and celebrate with the adoptive families.
Foster Care Statistics
For the 15th straight November, the council resolution calls attention both to the successes achieved over the past decade and the need for continuing efforts to achieve family reunification, adoption, and permanency for children.
Following is further information and statistics about foster care in California: