Any child described pursuant to Welfare and Institution Code 300
is protected by the State of California Legislator's
"It is the intent of the Legislature
that nothing in this section disrupts the family unnecessarily or
intrudes inappropriately into family life, prohibit the use of reasonable
methods of parental discipline, or prescribe a particular method
of parenting. Further, nothing in this section is intended to limit
the offering of voluntary services to those families in need of
assistance but who do not come within the descriptions of this section.
To the extent that savings accrue to the state from child welfare
services funding obtained as a result of the enactment of the act
that enacted this section, those savings shall be used to promote
services which support family maintenance and family reunification
plans, such as client transportation, out-of-home respite care,
parenting training, and the provision of temporary or emergency
in-home caretakers ad persons teaching and demonstrating homemaking
skills. The Legislature further declares that a physical disability,
such as blindness or deafness, is no bar to the raising of happy
and well-adjusted children and that a court's determination pursuant
to this section shall center upon whether a parent's disability
prevents him or her for exercising care and control. The Legislature
further declares that a child whose parent has been adjudged a dependent
child of the court pursuant tot his section shall not be considered
to be at risk of abuse or neglect solely because of the age, dependent
status, or foster care status of the parent."
April 2008 - Page 8
Draft Recommendations at a Glance
By Justice Carlos R. Moreno
Child Abuse Prevention and Services Funding
The Judicial Council should work with state and federal leaders
to allow greater flexibility in the use of prevention funds and
to eliminate barriers to coordinating fund for prevention and services.
Prioritizing Foster Care
All agencies and the courts should prioritize children in foster
care and their families when providing services and when allocating
and administering public and private resources.
The Judicial Council should advocate reasonable judicial, attorney
and social worker caseloads.
Data & Information
The Judicial Council should support the courts and all partners
in the child welfare system in eliminating barriers to the exchange
of essential information and data about the children and families
they serve. The Judicial Council should implement court performance
measures to improve foster care outcomes as mandated by state law.
The courts and child welfare agencies should examine and address
why a disproportionate number of African-American and Native American
children are in the child welfare system.
Child welfare agencies should engage family members earlier
and the Judicial Council should work with state and federal leaders
to develop greater flexibility in approving relative placements
Indian Child Welfare
The courts, child welfare and other agencies should collaborate
with Indian tribes and tribal courts to ensure that Indian children
and families get the services for which they are eligible.
Extended Support For Transitioning Youth
The Judicial Council should urge Congress and the state Legislature
to extend the age for children to receive foster care assistance
from 18 to 21.
A Voice In Court
The courts should ensure that all participants in dependency
proceedings, including children and parents, have an opportunity
to be present at and heard in court. CASA programs should
be available in all counties.
The courts and child welfare agencies should jointly convene multidisciplinary
commissions at the county level to identify and resolve local concerns
and to help implement commission recommendations and related reforms.
for the full set of recommendation
and to provid public comment.