CFCC is involved in many projects aimed at assisting courts hearing dependency cases. Staff provide technical assistance, legal information, training, and education to judges, attorneys, and system partners. Staff also produces publications and other resources for both professionals and court users. 

Dependency Drug Courts Fact Sheet (September 2023)
Dependency drug courts were established to assist courts and child welfare agencies in their efforts to help parents overcome their drug dependency and to provide a healthy and safe environment for their children. This fact sheet provides more information about this court type.

Special Education Rights for Children and Families (2016)
This pamphlet for parents, foster parents, guardians, and people who hold education rights for school-aged children who are struggling in school, describes the process for identifying the need for special education and the services and supports the school can provide.

Caregivers and the Courts (2016)
This is a primer on juvenile dependency proceedings for California foster parents and relative caregivers. Also available in Spanish.

The Juvenile Dependency Court and You – A Guide for Parents
This guide describes the dependency court process in California. It also includes the story of one parent who went through the dependency system and her advice to you on how to get your children back home. Printable versions in black and white and color are available.

Juvenile Dependency Court Orientation Video (2013)
This 13 minute video explains the dependency court process to parents who have had children removed from their care. It describes detention, jurisdiction, disposition, and review hearings.

California Courts Online Self-Help Center
For detailed information on the juvenile dependency court process, forms, and information for parents, visit the Self-Help Guide to Dependency Court.

Together Again: A Day of Celebration (2013)
This book, written from a child’s perspective, seeks to describe the challenges that face children and families going through the dependency process, and celebrate the important accomplishments of parents and the professionals that support them in their efforts toward reunification.
Together Again: A Day of Celebration (for color printing)
Together Again: A Day of Celebration (for b/w printing)
Certificate of Reunification

Dependency Flow Chart
Nonminor Dependent Flow Chart
This flow chart outlines how a dependency case moves through the court system.

The Court’s Role in Improving Permanency Outcomes for Children & Youth in Foster Care Bench Cards
The following bench cards and appendices are to assist courts on the critical issue of ensuring that foster children end up with a permanent, committed family. Permanency-related statutes, in and of themselves, do not provide the court with needed understanding of effective permanency philosophy and practice implementation. These appendices provide the court with probing questions to be asked at disposition, status review, permanency, and post-permanency hearings to help county agencies and social workers understand what is expected of them and to help the court determine findings required by law.

The Dependency Quick Guide: A Dogbook for Attorneys Representing Children and Parents (Third Edition)
A practice guide, legal primer and process resource for dependency attorneys. Includes descriptions of each hearing type, fact sheets on key dependency concepts such as education law, ICWA and parentage, and summaries of seminal cases. Also included are checklists, black letter discussion, and tips to assist attorneys in their practice.

Juvenile Dependency Mediation: Permanency Toolkit
This video highlights the multiple benefits of juvenile dependency mediation through interviews with both California and nationwide judges, attorneys, mediators and other professionals, and it provides the viewer with snapshots of the mediation process.

Juvenile Dependency

Each year your court receives a communication asking to update participation status in the legislatively mandated Juvenile Dependency Counsel Collections Program (JDCCP). This communication will come to you or to staff identified as administering the JDCCP in your court. More information on JDDCP can be found here

For any questions, please contact Vida Terry at

CFCC staff are involved in many projects aimed at improving the child welfare system. Links to those projects can be found below:

The California Blue Ribbon Commission on Children in Foster Care  was a multidisciplinary body charged with improving California’s juvenile dependency courts and foster care system address and helped launch former Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye’s Keeping Kids in School and Out of Court Initiative.  

The California Child Welfare Council (CWC) is a state advisory body working to improve outcomes for children and youth in California's child welfare system through increased collaboration and coordination among the programs, services, and processes administered by the multiple agencies and courts that serve them.

The Judicial Council’s Court Appointed Special Advocates Grants Program provides funding, technical assistance, evaluation, and training for CASA programs in California. In 2008, the council conducted an assessment on CASAs and the courts.

Dependency Representation, Administration, Funding, and Training Program (DRAFT)
The DRAFT program addresses critical trial court needs with respect to attorney quality, availability, and cost through the establishment of partnerships between participating courts and the Judicial Council.

Federally Funded Dependency Representation Program
A 2019 change in the federal government's Child Welfare Policy Manual now permits claiming federal foster care dollars (title IV-E funds) for attorneys providing legal representation to a title IV-E–eligible child in foster care or to the child’s parents. In fiscal year 2019–20, the Judicial Council, in collaboration with the California Department of Social Services (CDSS), implemented the Federally Funded Dependency Representation Program, through which court appointed dependency counsel in California can access these additional federal funds.

Judicial Resources and Technical Assistance (JRTA) 
The JRTA project is designed to improve the lives of foster children and their families by focusing on child safety, legal permanency, and child and family well-being when conducting juvenile court case file reviews and courtroom observations for compliance with state and federal laws.


Juvenile Dependency Court Orientation

An introduction to the court process for parents who have had children removed from their care.