FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT CHILD WELFARE
What is dependency court?
Dependency Court cases involve the protection of children that have been or are at risk of being abused, neglected, or abandoned. The Dependency Court is one of two courts within the Juvenile Division of the Los Angeles Superior Court, which deals with cases that involve children under 18 years old.
The Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) investigates allegations of abuse, neglect, or abandonment, and files such cases as the “petitioner” in the Dependency Court.
Where do I go for dependency court hearings?
All dependency hearings are heard at:
Central Juvenile District
Edmund D. Edelman Children’s Court
201 Centre Plaza Dr.
Monterey Park, CA 91754
What resources are available within the court?
- Parents in Partnership – facilitate support groups for parents who have children currently living under DCFS’ supervision, in-home or out-of-home
- 211 – connects you with services you or your children need, including help with child welfare issues
- Grandparents as Parents – support groups for people who act as parents to their grandchildren
- CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) – pairs a child with trained volunteers to help advocate for them
- Shelter care – Shelter care is the place where children coming to court without their parents are taken care of throughout their time in court and before they are seen by their judge.
ACTIONS YOU CAN TAKE
- Read more about Juvenile Dependency Court
- Watch the Juvenile Dependency Court Orientation video
- See the full list of resources, with contact info
- Report child abuse, neglect or abandonment by contacting the Los Angeles County Child Protection Hotline at 1-800-540-4000
- Find free or low cost legal assistance with Alliance for Children’s Rights, Public Counsel, Children’s Law Center (CLC) or LA Dependency Lawyers (LADL)
Special thanks for this information: Jessica Payne of CASA