Families and Children

This section includes resources and program information in the areas of Family and Juvenile law.  It also includes conference materials and a comprehensive list of publications produced by the Center for Families, Children and the Courts (CFCC).

Of Current Interest

CARE Act Implementation

The Community Assistance, Recovery, and Empowerment (CARE) Act authorizes specific adult persons to petition a civil court to create a voluntary CARE agreement or a court-ordered CARE planwhich includes treatment, housing support, and other services for persons with untreated schizophrenia or other psychotic disorders.

  • The CARE Act (SB 1338) takes effect on January 1, 2023.
  • 7 counties (Glenn, Orange, Riverside, San Diego, San Francisco, Stanislaus, Tuolumne) must implement by October 1, 2023.
  • Los Angeles plan to implement December 1, 2023.
  • The remaining 50 counties must implement by December 1, 2024.
  • For more information about the CARE Act visit the Adult Civil Mental Health page.


CARE Act Eligibility Criteria

This five-minute video walks through the seven eligibility criteria that must be met in order for someone to be eligible for services under the CARE Act.

Video Transcript

Funding Available

Substance Abuse Focus Grants

We are pleased to invite your court to submit a request for funding for the Substance Abuse Focus Grants and Dependency Drug Court grants for Fiscal Year 2023 -24. Requests must be received by September 25, 2023. The Request for Funding can be accessed here.

$1,160,000 has been made available in the state budget to be distributed to California superior courts to maintain, expand, or enhance eligible collaborative justice courts with an additional $75,000 in Federal Court Improvement Program funding available for family treatment and dependency drug courts.

For Fiscal Year 2023-24, the Collaborative Justice Courts Advisory Committee recommended to the Judicial Council a revised allocation methodology for Substance Abuse Focus Grants to align the distribution of the funding to the population in greatest need of services.

Please review the application and contact Tiana Osborne-Gauthier at 916-643-6902 or tiana.osborne-gauthier@jud.ca.gov with any questions.

Access to Visitation Grants

We are pleased to invite your court to apply for funding for the Access to Visitation Grant Program. Funding is available for a three-year period, from federal fiscal years 2024–25 through 2026–27. Access to Visitation programs enable noncustodial parents and their children to participate in supervised visitation and exchange services, education, and group counseling programs.

Approximately $655,000 annually will be allocated for statewide distribution through this grant program. Please submit your application though Submittable online using this link. Completed applications must be received by 5 p.m., Monday November 13, 2023. For instructions on how to submit your application using Submittable, please visit How can I submit?

Two webinars are scheduled on the grant and how to apply. Please see the attached Access to Visitation Application Instructions for more information.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Shelly La Botte at shelly.labotte@jud.ca.gov. The grant application documents, and information will also be posted at the California Courts website at Access to Visitation page.

Review Requested

Court Interpreter Certification Cycle

The annual Court Interpreter Renewal and Compliance Period will open on September 15th for all interpreters to submit their annual renewal fee and compliance attestation.  The renewal and compliance period ends December 31, 2023. Information will be communicated by e-mail on September 15th to all active interpreters on the Judicial Council Master List of California Certified Court and Registered Interpreters. Detailed information including the attached memo will also be sent to Human Resources contacts, Language Access Representatives, and Interpreter Coordinators in your court.

Materials will also be posted at Annual Court Interpreter Renewal and Compliance page.

If you have any questions concerning the annual Court Interpreter Renewal and Compliance process, please email courtinterpreters@jud.ca.gov.

Language Access Data Tool

Courts (Language Access Representatives) will be asked to complete a brief survey for Fiscal Year 2022-23 to fulfill statutory reporting requirements and identify interpreter needs for the statewide court interpreter program. Courts will receive a link to complete the Language Access Data Tool. The deadline for completion is October 31, 2023. Once analysis is complete, all courts will be able to view aggregated Data Tool responses on dashboards or infographics on the Judicial Resources Network (JRN).

For any questions, please contact Jannie Scott at Jannie.Scott@jud.ca.gov.

Community Assistance, Recovery, and Empowerment (CARE) Act Funding

The August Trial Court Trust Fund Court Operations Distribution included CARE Act funding for all courts, both the Cohort 1 courts implementing the CARE Act in fiscal year 2023-24 and Cohort 2 courts planning implementation for 2024-25. Funding is intended to support hearing costs and other court operations costs including clerk and administrative support, court coordinators, self-help centers, and other costs associated with planning for and hearing cases in this new case type. Please consult with JC IT before making technology purchases and JC Facilities Office for facility improvements.

For any questions, please contact Don Will at don.will@jud.ca.gov.

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 jdccp@jud.ca.gov.

(Cycle 2 of Applications) Firearm Relinquishment Grant Program: Apply by February 17
$17 million is available to superior courts to support firearm relinquishment efforts. Please submit your application online using this link by Friday, February 17, 2023. For instructions on how to submit your application using Submittable please visit: How can I submit? Any questions regarding the application should be emailed to firearmsgrant@jud.ca.gov or contact Frances Ho at (415) 865-7662.

Additional Resources:

  • (Cycle 2) January 12, 2023 Firearm Relinquishment Grant Program Introductory Webinar Recording 
  • (Cycle 1) September 22, 2022 Firearm Relinquishment Grant Program Introductory Webinar Recording
  • (Cycle 1) September 22, 2022 Firearm Relinquishment Grant Program Introductory Webinar Slides
  • AB 178 Firearm Relinquishment Grant Program Application 
  • Grant Application Budget Form
  • Firearm Relinquishment Grant Frequently Asked Questions
  • Grant Application Reviewer Rating and Scoring Sheet

California Courts Juvenile Portal: Juvenile Cases, Articles, Resources, and Trainings (JCART)
CFCC’s online learning repository has moved from CalDOG to Juvenile Cases, Articles, Resources, Training - also known as JCART. Users accounts have moved to JCART; to access JCART you need to do a one-time password reset. If you receive a login error, need to update your email address, or need to start a new account, please contact jcart@jud.ca.gov and we will be more than happy to assist you. For your convenience here are two videos on how to access and navigate our new site.

An Evaluation of the Succeeding Through Achievement and Resilience (STAR) Court (2021). This report details the results of a comprehensive evaluation of the Los Angeles Succeeding Through Achievement and Resilience (STAR) Court, created for those who are at risk of or have been commercially sexually exploited. This report covers an overview of the STAR Court, the mixed methods used in the evaluation, and qualitative and quantitative results. The results suggest that the STAR Court is a promising model that could be successful for youth experiencing commercial sexual exploitation in other jurisdictions.

The Psychotropic Medication for Children and Youth in Out of Home Placements webinarExternal link icon provides a brief explanation of the abbreviations and jargon that can appear on the series of forms that are used to request that psychotropic medication be prescribed, or continue to be prescribed, to a child who is a ward or dependent of the court. This short video is primarily intended for judicial officers, attorneys, social workers and other court professionals who work with children in foster care.
TranscriptPDF file type icon

An Overview of California’s Girls’ and CSEC Courts: Process Evaluation Report 2021
This final evaluation report details the results of a process evaluation of California’s girls’ and CSEC courts designed for those at risk of or have been Commercially Sexually Exploited Children.. The report covers an overview of what girls’ courts and CSEC courts are, the existing literature about this court type, the methodology used in the evaluation, and evaluation results. It concludes with a set of recommendations for courts that might see victims of exploitation or that want to create their own girls’ or CSEC court.

The Impact of Implicit Bias Podcast (19:33) - This podcast features an interview with Dr. Rita Cameron Wedding, professor of Women’s Studies and Ethnic Studies at Sacramento State University (California). Dr. Cameron Wedding’s curriculum Implicit Bias: Impact on Decision-Making, has been used to train judges, public defenders, practitioners in child welfare, juvenile justice, law enforcement and education in jurisdictions throughout the country since 2005. As a faculty for the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ), she has trained judges at court improvement initiatives in over 40 states. Dr. Cameron Wedding has conducted implicit bias Train the Trainer Institutes, webinars, and curriculum development in numerous agencies and states throughout the country. Transcript

Research Update: STAR Court Study: Initial Results
The Judicial Council’s Center for Families, Children & the Courts has partnered with the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), to conduct a comprehensive study of the Succeeding Through Achievement and Resilience (STAR) Court, a juvenile collaborative court program focused on providing services to commercially sexually exploited children (CSEC) or youth at risk of exploitation. This research update provides descriptive data about STAR Court participants.

About Juvenile Collaborative Court Models
This series of briefings provides an introduction to juvenile collaborative courts, including what types of courts exist, how they work, and how they can be replicated, as well as an overview of various juvenile collaborative court models, information about starting a juvenile collaborative court model, and potential impacts of new laws on juvenile collaborative courts.

Human Trafficking in California: Toolkit for Judicial Officers  contains information that is useful and relevant to judicial officers who may come across the variety of cases in which a sex trafficking victim may be a party or witness.

Dual Status Youth Data Standards (AB 1911): In this legislative report, the Judicial Council recommends that to improve outcomes for dual status youth the California legislature should mandate a standard set of definitions applicable to dual status youth, identify outcomes that should be tracked statewide, and create a process by which a common identifier can be created for this population of youth.

Contact Info

Center for Families, Children & the Courts

Operations & Programs Division
Judicial Council of California

455 Golden Gate Avenue, 6th Floor
San Francisco, California

E-mail: CFCC@jud.ca.gov


Juvenile Dependency Court Orientation

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