A Democratic state legislator who vowed to better protect California's 58,000 foster children by opening up the secretive dependency courts governing their lives now faces opposition ... in recent years the number of states with open courts has grown to 19, buoying the hopes of many influential juvenile court judges that California would join the movement toward accountability.Normally I might say that the problems of some kids are not the concerns of the general public. Except that there are some truly evil people in positions of authority with the juvenile courts and CPS, and public oversight is a necessity.
The nationwide move away from secrecy in foster care is an effort to promote more accountability of the decisions made after children are removed from parents deemed abusive or neglectful. In California, the strict confidentiality of the dependency courts has allowed their dysfunction to remain hidden. A 2008 Mercury News investigation revealed deluged judges and court-appointed lawyers failing to meet even basic standards of adequate representation for children and parents, despite the high stakes. Dependency court rulings can permanently terminate parental rights and dictate whether children will move in with relatives or be consigned to a set of revolving foster homes and institutions.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Bill to open dependency courts
The San Jose newspaper reports: