Juvenile Law

The Center for Families, Children & the Courts (CFCC) works to improve court proceedings and outcomes for children, youth, families, and victims involved in juvenile delinquency and dependency proceedings. In this section, you will find information on delinquency and dependency projects and those that intersect delinquency and dependency.  General juvenile resources, dual status youth resources, and information that applies to both delinquency and dependency are listed below.


Recent studies, including Trust and Confidence in the California Courts, Phase I and II and the Juvenile Delinquency Court Assessment, found that too often parties find it difficult to attend their court hearings. Moreover, when they do attend, they frequently have trouble understanding the court process and what is being said in court. The Blue Ribbon Commission on Children in Foster Care has echoed this concern and has stated that best practices dictate that the courts should be sensitive to the needs of users when scheduling hearings, and that those hearings should be conducted in a way that maximizes meaningful participation by parties.

The CFCC has undertaken a number of initiatives to assist courts in implementing access and comprehension improvement, including working directly with users and other stakeholders to identify necessary court reforms and developing educational materials for court users.

Because victims of juvenile crime often have unique needs, the following publications were developed to help victims understand the juvenile court process and how to collect restitution, or money they may be owed as a result of the crime.
Information for Victims: Your Rights and Role in the Juvenile Court Process
Restitution Basics for Victims of Offenses by Juveniles

Suggestions for other useful materials are welcome. Contact Audrey Fancy with questions or suggestions.

Assembly Bill 12 (Beall; Stats. 2010, ch. 559), the California Fostering Connections to Success Act, as amended by Assembly Bill 212 (Beall; Stats. 2011, ch. 459) makes it possible to access federal funding for foster care services for dependents and wards beyond their 18th birthday, which will provide them with the time and support needed to gradually become fully independent adults.

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Assembly Bill 129, sponsored by the Judicial Council and passed by the Legislature in 2004, is intended to improve the handling of cases in which delinquency and dependency intersect and to help increase access to appropriate resources and services for children in a holistic and timely manner.

Dual Status Youth Data Standards (AB 1911) – A Report to the California Legislature (2017) — Assembly Bill 1911 required the council to establish a set of definitions pertaining to dual status youth, as well as identify data elements and outcomes to be tracked for youth involved in the dependency and delinquency system, and report these findings to the Legislature by January 1, 2018. The report contains recommendations for:

  • A common identifier for counties to use to reconcile date across child welfare and juvenile justice systems statewide;
  • Standardized definitions for terms related to the populations of youth involved in both the child welfare system and the juvenile justice system;
  • Identified and defined outcomes for counties to track youth involved in both the child welfare system and the juvenile justice system;
  • Established baselines and goals for these identified and defined outcomes;
  • An assessment as to the costs and benefits associated with requiring all counties to implement the working group’s recommendations; and
  • An assessment of whether a single technology system is needed to track youth in the child welfare system and the juvenile justice system.

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The resources in this section include publications and fact sheets produced by staff of the CFCC through various research projects, publications from partnering agencies, and links to other useful information relating to these projects.

Assembly Bill 129, sponsored by the Judicial Council and passed by the Legislature in 2004, is intended to improve the handling of cases in which delinquency and dependency intersect and to help increase access to appropriate resources and services for children in a holistic and timely manner.

Dual Status Youth Data Standards (AB 1911) – A Report to the California Legislature (2017) — Assembly Bill 1911 required the council to establish a set of definitions pertaining to dual status youth, as well as identify data elements and outcomes to be tracked for youth involved in the dependency and delinquency system, and report these findings to the Legislature by January 1, 2018. The report contains recommendations for:

  • A common identifier for counties to use to reconcile date across child welfare and juvenile justice systems statewide;
  • Standardized definitions for terms related to the populations of youth involved in both the child welfare system and the juvenile justice system;
  • Identified and defined outcomes for counties to track youth involved in both the child welfare system and the juvenile justice system;
  • Established baselines and goals for these identified and defined outcomes;
  • An assessment as to the costs and benefits associated with requiring all counties to implement the working group’s recommendations; and
  • An assessment of whether a single technology system is needed to track youth in the child welfare system and the juvenile justice system.

MORE »

This section features resources on truancy and school discipline issues, including research and key statistics, as well as principles and strategies for minimizing these problems and their effects. This information will benefit courts and justice partners working collaboratively to develop ways to address these issues in their communities.

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© 2017 Judicial Council of California